His realm beset by division and unprecedented defiance to his rule, King Vajiralongkorn yesterday penned a message to well-wishers about unity, love and Thai identity.
Two days after thousands of protesters delivered letters to the monarch, Vajiralongkorn on Tuesday sent a message of his own through numerous messages penned to well-wishers during a visit to the northeastern province of Udon Thani.
“Thank you for all the love and support. We love and care for each other. We must take care of the country, and we must help each other protect it with virtue for it to prosper. Preserve the marvel of Thainess,” read one of his messages.
In another, the king wrote, “Love the nation. Love the people. Cherish the Thainess and you will definitely be happy.”
The king and Queen Suthida on Tuesday departed Bangkok on a flight to Udon Thani to attend the opening of the newly built Udon Thani Juvenile and Family Court. The last time he had visited the province was in 1999 with his late father King Bhumibol when the City Pillar Shrine was unveiled.
Most of those greeting the king raised yellow royal flags and wore yellow shirts in a display of loyalty to the royal family.
On Sunday, thousands of protesters marched from the Democracy Monument to the Grand Palace to deliver letters addressed to the king.
“Accept reforms of the monarchy now, and the royal family will get to remain graciously, and you’ll be loved by protesters,” wrote one of many anonymous protester letters presented Sunday. “But if you don’t, especially now when compromise is still possible, there will be only discord in Thailand. Can’t you sacrifice for the people?”
Last week, Vajiralongkorn delivered similar sentiments when questioned by a British television reporter outside the Grand Palace.
“We love them all the same,” he replied three times when asked about those calling for his power to be checked.
Equally sunny are his drawings that have been frequently made public. In August, he presented one of his latest drawings to the people. It showed rosy-cheeked rural residents – surrounded by smiling buildings, tractors, trees and even a smiling sun – benefiting from a royal rehabilitation program inspired by his late father.
Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!