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Video clips released on social media show the crowd booing as the Thai royal anthem played on stage and the words "Please pay your respects to His Majesty the King" appeared on the screen before the Blackpink World Tour kicked off in Bangkok.

A photo shows that special seats were arranged for VIP attendees under a Thai-styled roof in the stadium. Princess Ubolratana's post on Instagram showed that she was at the concert at some point. It has not been confirmed if the free-spirited princess noticed loud noises from the crowd.

The elite K-Pop band's two-day concert began on 7 January in Bangkok as part of the 2023 World Tour. After the 'Born Pink' concert in Bangkok, Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa will also perform in Hong Kong, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Taiwan, Tokyo, and Singapore.

Apart from the issue with the royal anthem, the Supachalasai Stadium was packed with Blackpink fans aka "Blinks" as they enjoyed the concert. So far, there have been 1.65 million tweets about #BORNPINKinBangkok as the audience shared their memorable moments online.

Some complained about the cheap-looking four-hole blue plastic urinals at the concert. Some argued that the arrangement was not unusual for a crowded venue, but some said they deserved better considering the ticket price.

Thai royalists thank Lisa 

Lalisa "Lisa" Manobal, a Thai national, became a talking point among Thai royalists who published online posts thanking her for letting the royal anthem Sansoen Phra Barami be played before their performance. Some claimed that she would feel sad when the crowd jeered at the song. 

In 2020, Thai protesters criticised her for not speaking out about the political situation in her home country. Many in the pro-democracy movement had a more understanding stance, claiming that doing so could jeopardise her fanbase and that the protesters were going too far.

In 2017, she wore black and laid flowers to mourn the death of King Rama IX at the Royal Thai Embassy in Seoul. In 2018, she said that she was going to buy a King Rama XI pendant from a shop in Jeju. Both stories became talking points among right-wing commentators. 

Her 2021 single release, 'Lalisa,’ was praised by the government for promoting Thailand as she wore Thai-style costumes in small parts of the music video. Thai protesters slammed the move as a desperate attempt to steal credit from a rising star in the Korean entertainment industry.

Not standing for the royal anthem has increasingly become a source of discomfort for Thai royalists over the past several years. While threatening anyone to stand can result in a lawsuit, the refusal to stand for the royal anthem does not constitute lèse majesté.

Fading tradition

BBC Thai reported that there has been a transition from the "not standing up is no crime" campaign by activists in 2007 to the "it takes courage to stand up" speech by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha in 2019 as participation in the tradition of standing for the royal anthem continues to fade. 

In Thai movie theatres, not standing for the royal anthem before a movie was a chosen form of dissent among Thai protesters in 2020–2021. The practice remains widespread as calls persist for abolition of the lèse majesté law (Section 112) and reform of the monarchy.

Before the spread of Covid-19, movie theatres began to receive criticism for persuading the audience to wait outside until the royal anthem finished if they did not want to stand up to pay respect to the king. 

In 2021, the royalist youth group Good Students launched an online campaign calling for moviegoers to stand for the anthem to express gratitude to the hard-working King, claiming that they would stand even though they were the only ones to do so. 

When moviegoers returned after COVID-19, Thai theatres saw even fewer people standing to pay respect to the King before the movie. Not standing may be less of an issue than in the past, but other forms of dissent can still lead to jail-term penalties under Thai law. 

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