Thai activists protest in front of king’s German villa

TUTZING, Germany: Thai activists on Friday (Sep 25) planted a symbolic plaque declaring Thailand belongs to the people in front of King Maha Vajiralongkorn's villa in Germany, as protests calling for reforms to his monarchy grow at home.

In the pouring rain, protest organiser Junya Limprasert from Act4Dem read out a letter to the king calling for more democracy and said the Thai people did not want a king who spends most of the year in Germany.

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"We want the king to give up the throne, we want the king to stop harassing the Thai people," she said outside the villa in Tutzing on Lake Starnberg, a popular playground for millionaires an hour's drive southwest of Munich.

The Thai embassy in Berlin could not be reached for comment. The Royal Palace made no comment and has made no comment on the protests in Thailand.

Protesters challenging Thailand's palace and army-dominated establishment broke a long-standing taboo by demanding reform of the monarchy in August and the call was taken up last weekend by tens of thousands of people at a demonstration in Bangkok.

READ: Protesters rally at Thai parliament as lawmakers debate reform

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READ: Thai protesters demand monarchy reforms in biggest rally since 2014

The hashtag #RepublicofThailand trended in Thailand on Friday after parliament delayed addressing protesters' demand for constitutional change.

According to the Thai constitution, the monarchy must be held "in a position of revered worship".

The symbolic plaque planted in a flower pot in front of the Tutzing villa resembled one protesters cemented near the Grand Palace in Bangkok last weekend and which proclaims Thailand belongs to the people and not the monarch. Thai police swiftly removed that plaque.

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