At the beginning of 2020, the United States watched the Kingdom of Thailand experience unprecedented calls for reform of the Thai monarchy. The turmoil in the country prompted the United States to determine how they would both support the human rights of the citizens while also maintaining interests with the current Thai government. Protests in Bangkok against the royal family, specifically King Vajiralongkorn, have been spearheaded by the upcoming generation of Thai young adults. The protesters consistently demand the dissolution of parliament, an end to the intimidation of the people, and a new constitution. In other words, the protesters of the monarchy in Thailand are pro-democracy. Despite the continuation of the protests, the demands seem to be falling on deaf ears. The monarchy has not directly acknowledged these demands from the protesters. Instead, they have sent the military to take back the streets with riot shields, rubber bullets, and water cannons. These protests are taking place mainly in Bangkok around the different college campuses and government monuments. The Royalists, for their part, have not been passively watching on the sidelines during these protests.
On the morning of February 1st, 2021, the military of Myanmar seized control of the government after the general election in which Aung San Suu Kyi, the current head of the government, and the National League for Democracy (NDL) party won by a landslide. The military is now currently in charge and has declared a year-long state of emergency. The military had backed the opposition in the election, who were demanding a rerun of the vote, claiming widespread fraud. The election commission of Myanmar said there was no evidence to support these claims of voter fraud. The coup was staged shortly after as a new session of parliament was set to open. Ms. Suu Kyi is currently under house arrest and has been charged with possessing illegally imported walkie-talkies. Many other NLD officials have also been detained. Power has been handed over to commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing, who has overseen the military of Myanmar for many years now and has declared that the country will have a “free and fair” election after the state of emergency is over.