It’s royalists vs protesters in Thailand
PIC: AFP

Several hundred Thai royalists staged a rally in central Bangkok on Tuesday, eager to display their loyalty to the country's king as growing protests by young activists have made unprecedented criticism of the monarchy.

The rally had been heavily publicised on social media by supporters of the palace, but the turnout of around 300 people was a small fraction of the thousands of pro-democracy protesters that rally on an almost daily basis. Almost all of the royalists wore yellow shirts, which symbolise devotion to the monarchy.

The demographics were also very different. Many of the demonstrators Tuesday in Lumphini Park were in their 50s or 60s, or older. The pro-democracy protesters include many university students and young professionals.

The pro-democracy protesters want Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to step down, a more democratic constitution and reforms to the monarchy, which they believe is too powerful.

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