In Thailand, Protests Enter an Uncertain Phase as the King Offers an Olive Branch

Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn, center left, and Queen Suthida, center right, greet supporters in Bangkok, Thailand, Nov. 1, 2020 (AP photo by Wason Wanichakorn).
Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn, center left, and Queen Suthida, center right, greet supporters in Bangkok, Thailand, Nov. 1, 2020 (AP photo by Wason Wanichakorn).
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Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn, also known as Rama X, made a rare media appearance last weekend, publicly addressing for the first time the monthslong pro-democracy uprising in the country. In a joint interview with CNN and Channel 4 News, he suggested there could be room for compromise with the demonstrators in the streets. Asked what he would say to them, he responded, “we love them all the same.” But according to Tyrell Haberkorn, an expert on Thailand at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the king’s apparent peace offering should be taken with a grain of salt, given the ongoing campaign of […]

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