Even as Chiang Mai student activists call for more democracy, local officials and royalists pledged to uphold the monarchy on Chulalongkorn Day.
Gov. Charoenrit Sanguansat presided over the Oct. 23 ceremony at the Chiang Mai Railway station. He expressed his gratitude for the changes King Rama V brought about, including the end of slavery that put Siam on the road to democracy.
Ironically, Chiang Mai has been hit with continual protests from Thailand’s young generations who complain that the democracy that Chulalongkorn heralded has been usurped by the military and power-hungry elites. They now want to see more changes to the monarchy to diminish its influence even more.
None of that was on display at the train station, however, as royalists and government officials pledged to love the monarchy and king before cleaning up the property, removing garbage and cleaning the train platform.