I think it's about time to report unprecedented trends emerging in Thai society lately which directly relevant to the future of Thai monarchy. Though, these have never been publicly reported nor discussed on conventional media platforms, as you might expected, the trends have been going on for quite sometime now and can be traced back as early as October 2019 just before the Royal Noble Consort drama was rocking the nation.
October 1, 2019
or #royalmotorcade abruptly emerged on Twitter in Thailand and was on number 1 trending with 99k tweets after number of pictures posted on the platform showing many commuters waiting around Victory Monument area, Bangkok's major transit hub, clueless of what was going on. Later, it became apparent that there was a royal motorcade passing the area and everything forcibly had to be closed even the train service was disrupted. However, there was no specific report of whose motorcade it was. This incident caused a huge stir on Twitter as many complained that it unnecessarily causes difficulties to commuters with replying tweets showing angers and discontents.
Only Prachathai website that formally reported this incident: https://translate.google.co.th/trans...9%2F10%2F84568
December 12, 2019
Soon after Royal Barge Procession Ceremony ended, #ขบวนเสด็จ became trending on Twitter once again as pictures showing both local and foreign tourists waiting in long lines at ferry piers at Ko Lan pier, Bali Hai Pier (Pattaya) and Phra Samut Chedi pier surfaced. It was later revealed that the King was on his way to inspect and receive his new yacht AZIMUT 77S in Samut Prakarn Province in which Marine Department decided to declare all maritime transportation in the area suspended. There was also a picture showing pedestrians were sitting on the ground as instructed by police officers along Sukhumvit road in Samut Prakarn as a royal motorcade was about the pass the area. Again, Thailand's Twitter was on fire that evening with the the hashtag #ขบวนเสด็จ on number 1 trending.
Prachatai also reported this incident as well: https://translate.google.co.th/trans...9%2F12%2F85528
Since these two incidents, more criticizing tweets to the monarchy can be found on Twitter consistently in various topics from past to present, mostly around the King's personalities and behaviors and King Bhumibol's reign which was characterized by many military interventions and undemocratic changes (mostly comprised of left-wing activists, supporters of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and younger generations of Thais who view these kind of things are outdated, senseless and unacceptable to modern societies). Combining with unpopularity of the current administration of a general-turned-politician Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha who suspiciously won the general election in March 2019, discontents to the monarchy has never been more apparent (it is becoming more and more believable that the current prime minister and government was hand-picked by someone with great power and authority).
For example, this tweet from Somsak Jeamteerasakul
, a critics of Thai monarchy now living in exile in Paris, with a caption "ไม่ได้ดั่งใจเลย" or "[This is] not how I wished for", showing a video clip of the King mumbling something sounds similarly to the phase "ไม่ได้ดั่งใจเลย" shortly before embarking on a royal barge during the Royal Barge Procession Ceremony, went viral. Many negative comments then followed as it was being pointed out that this ceremony, which took months in preparations, got so many people involved and spent in huge amount of taxpayer's money, was completely a waste.
and then this latest development...
January 1, 2020
A new hashtag #ปิดเกาะ
or #Islandclosed emerged on Twitter's number 1 trending in Thailand after it has been reported that Princess Sirivannavari will be on a private trip with her friends to Krabi Province in Southern Thailand, where tourists flock to the area during this high season, and authority needs to close some roads and tourist attractions. Again this cause a huge stir on Twitter as people are questioning whether it is justified to close public attractions for a royal family's private visit. Though, there was no official report nor announcement to close those attractions, the stir continues as an Instagram Story clip emerged
, showing the Princess releasing a turtle to the sea while one of her entourage, probably a palace official or servant, prostrating behind her and the turtle. People on Twitter then question the action as it deemed unnecessary and disturbing in the 21st-century world.
Prachatai has an article on this as well: https://translate.google.co.th/trans...0%2F01%2F85743
Now, there are many tweets and discussions regarding the monarchy and more questioning whether its existence will be worthwhile anymore. This is also a time when republicans are out from the closet and jump on this anti-monarchist trend. One Twitter user even sharing a Facebook post which reads
- กิโยติน ตัดหัว เหมือนฝรั่งเศส
- ลี้ภัย เหมือนเยอรมัน
- ทำประชามติ เหมือนกรีซ
- ยึดอำนาจ ไล่ออกอยู่ประเทศเพื่อนบ้านเหมือนลาว"
which can be translated as:
"How [you] like it to end
- firing (massacre) like the Russian's
- Guillotine decapitation (execution) like the French's
- Go into exile like the German's
- A referendum like the Greek's
- A coup d'etat and exile to neighboring country like the Laos'"
which got, at the time of this post, 9.5k retweets.
This is not something that I didn't anticipate. Just the trend begins sooner than I've thought, considering it has only been less than a year since the coronation of the new king as rightful monarch of this country.