Thai protesters call on king to give up fortune

Mocked-up banknotes are the latest creation by Thai anti-government protesters.

They are branded with rubber ducks, an emblem of the demonstrations.

Protesters made calls for the King to give up control of the royal fortune on Wednesday (November 25).

The crown assets are estimated to be worth more than $30 billion.

"Mai" is a protester.

"At first, we intended for the banknotes to be coupons for protesters to use and buy food at the demonstration, but people now want them as souvenirs instead. We also chose the duck on the banknotes because it became a symbol in the fight, protecting us."

The demonstration on Wednesday came a day after police summoned many of the best-known protest leaders on charges of insulting the monarchy, which can mean up to 15 years in prison.

It had originally been scheduled at the Crown Property Bureau, which manages the royal assets.

But after police built siege barricades of shipping containers and razor wire, the venue was moved to the headquarters of the Siam Commercial Bank.

The king holds 23% of the bank's stake, making him the biggest shareholder.

A 28-year-old protester known by the nickname "Gift" said there are too many unanswered questions about the monarchy.

"We could not scrutinize anything about the monarchy. There were many questions left unanswered, whether it be the monarch's assets or the taxes that they used. The people were left with so many unanswered questions."

The palace has made no comment since the protests began, but when the king was asked about the protesters recently he said they were quote "loved all the same".

Since July, protesters have been calling for the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former junta leader.

The protesters also seek to make the king more accountable under the constitution.

Video Transcript

- Mocked-up banknotes are the latest creation by Thai anti-government protesters. They are branded with rubber ducks, an emblem of the demonstrations. Protesters made calls for the king to give up control of the royal fortune on Wednesday. The crown assets are estimated to be worth more than $30 billion.

"Mai" is a protester.

MAI: [SPEAKING THAI]

INTERPRETER: At first, we intended for the banknotes to be coupons for protesters to use and buy food at the demonstration. But people now want them as souvenirs instead. We also chose the duck on the banknotes because it became a symbol in the fight, protecting us.

[PROTESTER ON BULLHORN]

- The demonstration on Wednesday came a day after police summoned many of the best-known protest leaders on charges of insulting the monarchy, which can mean up to 15 years in prison. It had originally been scheduled at the Crown Property Bureau, which manages the royal assets. But after police built siege barricades of shipping containers and razor wire, the venue was moved to the headquarters of the Siam Commercial Bank. The king holds 23% of the bank's stake, making him the biggest shareholder.

A 28-year-old protester known by the nickname "Gift" said there were too many unanswered questions about the monarchy.

GIFT: [SPEAKING THAI]

INTERPRETER: We could not scrutinize anything about the monarchy. There were many questions left unanswered, whether it would be the monarch's assets or the taxes that they used. The people were left with so many unanswered questions.

- The palace has made no comment since the protests began. But when the king was asked about the protesters recently, he said they were, quote, "loved all the same."

Since July, protesters have been calling for the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former junta leader. The protesters also seek to make the king more accountable under the constitution.