1932 Democratic Revolution plaque disappears

As Thais celebrate Songkran Festival, one of the few remaining landmarks commemorating the 1932 democratic revolution has been quietly removed.

On 14 April 2017, the brass plaque commemorating the 1932 Revolution at the Royal Plaza in Bangkok disappeared.

In its place appeared another plaque with the message “May Siam prosper forever [with] happy fresh-faced citizens to be the force of the nation.” and around the rim “Respect and loyalty to the Buddhist Triple Gems, to one’s family clan, and being honest towards one’s King are tools for making the state prosper.”

According to Matichon Online, Banlue Suksai, Director of Dusit District, said the District administration was not responsible for the removal and that he does not know which public office is responsible.

Fine Arts Department Director-General Anan Chuchote also said his Department is not responsible for the removal, adding that it is not the job of the Department to take care of the plaque anyhow.

The old plaque, located in close proximity to Equestrian Statue of King Rama V, was installed by the first political party of the nation, the Peoples' Party (Khana Ratsadon), who staged a bloodless coup d’état on 24 June 1932, which ended 150 years of absolutist rule of the Chakri Dynasty.  

The message written on the old plaque reads “At this place, at the dawn of 24 June 1932, we the People’s Party have given birth to the Constitution for the progress of the nation.”

Many pro-democracy Thais regard the old plaque as a symbol of the birth of democracy in Thailand and have gathered around the plaque to commemorate the 1932 Revolution, while ultra-royalist Thais have threatened on many occasions to destroy it.

Thepmontri Limpaphayorm, a conservative Thai historian, on 31 October 2016, posted a message on Facebook, asking for the owner of the plaque, adding that he and his friends would dig it out if no one claims it by 30 December 2016.

The brass plaque commemorating the 1932 Revolution

The happy fresh-faced citizens memorial which replaces the 1932 Revolution plaque