Right-wing Thai media takes aim at student protesters arguing Monday’s rally had crossed the line

Following a large student rally at Thammasat University on Monday, right-wing conservative media over the last 48 hours have taken aim at student protesters for involving the monarchy in politics and questioning the motives of the student leaders.

Up to 10,000 students gathered on campus at Thammasat University – Rangsit on Monday to call for a change in government with many students saying that the Prayut Chan-ocha administration was undemocratic.

The students called for a rewrite of the military-drafted constitution, the dissolution of parliament and the end to the harassment of activists by the state. As the rallied continued, many speakers also touched on the role of the Thai monarchy in politics.

It was the last point which drew the ire of conservative news outlets with many saying that the rally had ‘hurt the feelings’ of the Thai public by involving the royal institution.

News outlets like the pro-government Bangkok Post ran a headline on Wednesday arguing that the students had “crossed the line” and quoted military-appointed senators without interviewing any protesters.

Government mouthpiece news outlets like The Nation and Manager both ran editorials questioning what was the ultimate aim of the student protesters while asking where the students had got the money to run their protest.

Both Nation and Manager in the past have tried to link anti-establishment protests with “third party” sources of funding oftentimes relying on editorials and analysis pieces to connect political issues to exiled prime minister Thaksin Shinwatra.

On Tuesday, Nation TV ran a piece asking “Who is the person trying to destroy the nation?”

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