King calls Thailand ‘land of compromise’ amid anti-govt protests

Bangkok, Nov 2 : Amid continued anti-government protests in Thailand and calls to reform the monarchy, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, in his first public statement on the pro-democracy demonstrations, called his country “the land of compromise”.

The King made the statement in an exclusive joint interview with CNN and Channel 4 News at the Grand Palace in Bangkok on Sunday.

This is the 68-year-old monarch’s first interview with a foreign media outlet since 1979 when he was Crown Prince.

When asked about the protests that have gripped the country for more than four months, King Vajiralongkorn told CNN “no comment”, before adding: “We love them all the same.”

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Asked whether there was any way for a compromise with protesters who are calling for the reforms on the monarchy, the King replied: “Thailand is the land of compromise.”

The interview came on the same day the King participated in a religious ceremony to mark the change of the season at the Grand Palace.

Dressed in yellow, thousands of pro-monarchy supporters gathered at the palace and were greeted by the monarch, Queen Suthida and the King’s daughter Princess Sirivannavari.

The Princess told CNN that Thailand is a peaceful country, saying: “We love the Thai people, no matter what.”

The large democracy protests have targeting Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and the King.

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The student-led movement is demanding the resignation of Prayuth, a former general who seized power in a 2014 coup and last year became Prime Minister after a controversial vote, the BBC reported.

They want a new election, amendments to the constitution, and an end to the harassment of state critics.

They are also demanding curbs on the King’s powers – a call that has led to unprecedented public discussion of an institution shielded from criticism by law.

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