The Thai army announced on Monday (May 9) that it will prohibit its 245,000 people from using one of Southeast Asia's largest e-commerce websites for official purposes, following royalists' claims that a promotional video mocked the royal family.

Army Chief Narongpan Jitkaewthae also directed troops not to allow Lazada delivery vehicles to enter army grounds with immediate effect. While troops can still buy goods on Lazada, they will have to pick them up outside army facilities, he told reporters on Monday.

Thailand's lese majeste laws are strict, and courts can sentence people to prison for up to 15 years for defaming, insulting, or threatening King Maha Vajiralongkorn, the queen, heir, or regent.

Thailand's Digital Economy and Society Ministry has directed officials to collect evidence to determine whether a Lazada commercial by a social media influencer on the TikTok platform added up insulting the monarchy, a charge punishable by prison time under the country's lese majeste law.

Citizens who support the king claimed that a video on Lazada's Facebook page depicting a woman dressed in traditional Thai attire sitting in a wheelchair was a veiled reference to a member of the royal family.

The unprecedented calls by youth-led activists for improvements to strict laws prohibiting insults to the king and other top royals sparked a debate about the Thai monarchy's role in society. Fighting between royalists and pro-democracy politicians has fueled instability over the last two decades, resulting in two coups, extended periods of military rule, and violent street protests.

The boycott was not addressed by Lazada, Alibaba Group Holdings' Southeast Asian subsidiary. It had previously apologized for the video's "emotional damage" and said it ought to be more cautious.

Because of the video, at least a half-dozen Thai businesses, as well as some run by the palace, have stopped using the platform.

Separately, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DES) has stated that it will file a lawsuit against all parties participating because the advertisement is considered an insult to the monarchy. DES Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn is said to have directed officials to gather the evidence before turning the case over to the Technology Crime Suppression Division.

Meanwhile, prominent activist and secretary-general of the Association for the Protection of the Thai Constitution Srisuwan Janya has filed a formal complaint against influencer Aniwat Prathumthin or Nara Crepe Katoey, Intersect Design Factory, and Lazada Thailand for creating an ad that mocks the disabled and the monarchy.