Police Warn Students Not to Touch the Monarchy

Anti-government protest at Thammasat University in Pathum Thani province on Feb. 26, 2020.

BANGKOK — A police spokesman on Friday said students must leave the monarchy out of their protests against the government of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Col. Kissana Phathanacharoen also said police are closely monitoring the rallies taking place in dozens of university campuses and schools nationwide to ensure safety of demonstrators and look out for any legal violation.

“They must be careful not to violate the laws, and they must not touch upon the monarchy,” Kissana said. “Let me insist that police are not fighting anyone. We are fighting people who break the laws.”


Criticism of the Royal Family is punishable by up to 15 years in prison under royal defamation law, or lese majeste.


Kissana’s comment came after subtle references to the monarchy were spotted on some signs and placards in the students-led protests. Often in humorous nature and relying on internet slang, some of these slogans were widely shared on social media in recent days.

Due to strict enforcement of royal defamation laws, Khaosod English cannot republish those remarks in full.