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Opinion

Thailand's kingdom of enslavement

Ignoring reasonable reform demands could force end of palace-military nexus

| Thailand
Pro-democracy protesters occupy a main road at Bangkok's central business district on Oct. 15: the fight burning in the hearts and minds of the young generation is beyond state control.   © AP

Thongchai Winichakul is an emeritus professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the U.S.

Thailand has always characterized itself proudly as the Land of the Free. As Thais often say, the word "Thai" literally means being free, or independent. But after security forces moved in on youth protesters camped in front of Government House in the early hours of Oct.15, there is once more a bitter aftertaste: Thailand is not a kingdom of the free but of the enslaved.

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