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.

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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.”

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.

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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