Thailand protesters refuse to compromise after king speaks

Thailand protesters refuse to compromise after king speaks

Leaders say reform of the monarchy will remain a key demand in future rallies

BANGKOK — King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s rare message to his people on Sunday night hinting at possible compromise was heard widely, but pro-democracy leaders say they will continue their protests and maintain their key demands — including reform of the monarchy.

“It is our consensus that there’s no change and no compromise,” Tattep Ruangprapaikitseree told Nikkei Asia on Tuesday.

“I expect to see certain actions instead of just talking,” Tattep said after viewing the king’s response to a foreign correspondent’s doorstepping question on Sunday. “We love them all the same,” the king repeated three times, adding: “Thailand is the land of compromise.”

“I don’t see any chance of compromise or talks,” protest leader Passaravalee Thanakijvibulphol, or ‘Mind,’ told Nikkei.

It was Mind who led thousands of protesters to the German Embassy on Oct. 26 to deliver a letter demanding the German government investigate whether the king conducts Thai state affairs on German soil.

Mind said that if the government wants talks, the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha — another key student demand — would be a good start. The students’ third key demand is revision of the constitution with public consultation.