BANGKOK — The Office of the Prime Minister released a new music video for the Thai national anthem on Monday, after a previous version received complaints from a Buddhist group.
The new version, two seconds longer than the previous iteration, has added footage of King Rama X at his coronation ceremony and monks collecting alms. New footage also shows a blurry farang standing behind a Thai counterpart.
The additions came after a previous version of the music video saw a Buddhist-advocacy group named Buddhists as the Nation’s Power file a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Division in May alleging that the video underrepresented the country’s main institutions: nation, religion, and monarchy.
“The new video does not include anything that represents Thai identity to boast national pride,” group leader Jaroon Wannakasinanont said on May 17, referring to the previous version of the video.
Jaroon took further offence at the video’s portrayal of minority religions other than Buddhism which are practised in Thailand.
“It does not contain footage of the Buddhist institution…at the same time, it chooses to highlight Muslims,” said Jaroon. “Footage of Muslim students singing the anthem can be seen right at the beginning, followed by two Imams singing in front of a mosque, and Muslims standing on fishing boats.”
“This video can be considered unconstitutional under Article 67 of the Constitution,” Jaroon added. Article 67 stipulates that the state shall be the protector of Buddhism by installing measures to prevent the religion from being undermined.
The complaint was filed against the head of the government’s public relations department, Lt. Gen. Sansern Kaewkamnerd.
An earlier complaint was filed on May 15 by another group called The Protection of Buddhism Association of Thailand. The association did not call for more Buddhist images, but for “things that represent Thainess, such as the iconic Wat Phra Kaew.”
The perm-sec of the Prime Minister’s Office, Patcharaporn Inseeyong, said on May 21 that the office had received the complaints and was waiting for additional footage of monks to be filmed on Vesak Day on May 19. She urged the public to respect diversity under the King’s reign.
The previous version of the music video released in May: