A massive crowd of pro-establishment supporters has flocked into Sanam Luang and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in the capital yesterday evening, November 1, to display their loyalty to His Royal Majesty the King Maha Vajiralongkorn amid political chaos and controversial calls for political reform by some pro-democracy protesters.
The yellow-shirted pro-establishment people have occupied nearby pavements and the area inside the temple since 5:00 PM, waiting for the royal motorcade of His Royal Majesty and his royal family who were scheduled to visit the temple to change the attire of the Emerald Buddha statue from rainy season to winter season.
The Emerald Buddha is considered one of the oldest and most significant Buddha image in Thailand since 1779. The sacred statue is located in the center of the Temple and is adorned with three different sets of gold seasonal costumes.
The clothes are seasonally changed by the King of Thailand in a ceremony at the changing of the seasons – on the first waning of lunar months 4, 8, and 12 (around March, August, and November). The golden clothes for summer and the rainy season were made by King Rama I and one for the winter season was made by King Rama III of the Chakri dynasty.
After the royal ceremony, His Royal Majesty the King and the Queen and several royal family members have greeted the crowd of pro-royalists and granted them portraits of his beloved father Bhumibol Adulyadej and His Majesty the King and the Queen as well as graciously distributing them with food, water, raincoats, and souvenir notebooks.
The gathering today was also partially organized by former famous Thai actor and volunteer Bin Banluerit, who said that the gathering was meant to send a message to pro-democracy demonstrators calling for reform and the ouster of Prime Minister Prayut Chan O’Cha.
“The gathering today was held with no political agenda. People had arrived here since this morning and waited for hours just to show the King and Her Majesty the Queen their loyalty to the highest institution. There are many people who love the King and Queen and the Kingdom.” Bin stated.
His Royal Majesty the King also made brief comments to a CNN reporter who had been invited to sit with Thai well-wishers at the temple. This was the first time the King had spoken to foreign press since 1979.
He was asked what he thought of the protesters calling for reform. Initially staying no comment, His Royal Majesty added that he loved them all and Thailand was the land of compromise.
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