Bangkok governor defends order for children to sing royal anthem

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BANGKOK’S governor on Tuesday defended his new order that all of the city’s public schools force children to sing along to a royal anthem.

“It is merely an idea to instill a sense of love and faith towards the nation, religions, and monarchy which are important foundations of Thainess,’’ Aswin Kwanmuang wrote in a Facebook post, comparing the new rule to standard school practices of singing the national anthem and praying.

Kwanmuang batted away concerns that the move would expose children to heavy air pollution that has plagued the city this month, saying children would not be at risk because all outdoor school activities remain suspended.

On Monday, Aswin ordered all public schools in Bangkok to have children sing along to a royal anthem to “build a sense of respect and love for the country, religions, and monarchy.’’

The royal anthem is the same one played in Thai Cinemas before every movie following a message that urges people to stand up to show respect.

In August 2019, a movie-goer took a picture of a man at a Bangkok Cinema who refused to stand up for the anthem and posted the image on Twitter.

The subsequent backlash and controversy prompted two of Thailand’s main cinema chains to issue public statements saying they did not have a policy of compelling people to stand but requested their cooperation to respect tradition.

NAN

– Jan. 21, 2020 @ 18:59 GMT |

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