'I had to do it': student leader defies Thailand's royal taboo


Student Union of Thailand spokesperson Panusaya "Rung" Sithijirawattanakul reads a list of demands, including the abolition of the kingdom's royal defamation law, during a pro-democracy rally at Thammasat University in Pathum Thani, north of Bangkok. When university student Rung calmly read out 10 demands to reform Thailand's monarchy before thousands of protesters at a pro-democracy rally this month, she defied the country's biggest political taboo. - AFP

PATHUM THANI (Thailand), Aug 29 (AFP): When university student Rung calmly read out 10 demands to reform Thailand's monarchy before thousands of protesters at a pro-democracy rally this month, she defied the country's biggest political taboo.

Backed by an arch-royalist military and shielded by draconian royal defamation laws, the super-rich monarchy wields enormous influence in nearly every sphere of Thai society.

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