Thousands of Thai protesters demand Germany to probe their king, march to German embassy in Bangkok

Thousands of residents in Thailand marched to the German embassy in Bangkok on Monday, to keep up pressure on King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who spends much of his time in Germany.

Germany has said it would be unacceptable for King Maha Vajiralongkorn, 68, to conduct politics there and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the European power continued to look into his behaviour during his vacation in Bavaria.

At the German embassy, a statement was read from “the People” accusing the king of interfering in Thai politics. It said that having failed to get “the royal puppet” to listen – a reference to Prayuth – they had come to “the puppet owner”.

“The era of change has arrived. The flowing stream of democracy cannot be stopped,” it said. “Down with feudalism, Long live the people.”

A separate letter asked Germany to investigate if the king conducted state business from there, whether he must pay inheritance tax there after the death of his father King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 2016, accusations of human rights abuses and his lifestyle in Germany.

Thailand’s student-led democracy movement began in July, they been calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. The former army chief had seized power in a 2014 coup before he was appointed as premier after controversial elections last year.

The protests have widened in recent months to also call for curbs on the king’s powers.

Demonstrators also demand the constitution be rewritten; that the authorities stop harassing critics and royal reform are particularly sensitive in where criticism of the monarchy is punishable by long prison sentences.