Connect with us

Politics

Leave the monarchy alone – Thai Minister warns protesters

The Thaiger

Published 

 on 

Leave the monarchy alone – Thai Minister warns protesters | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

Protest peacefully, but keep the Thai monarchy out of it – that’s the gist of a warning from the Digital Economy and Society Minister referring to recent political protests that have been raising questions about Thailand’s revered Head of State. Rallies by royalist students and opposition parties have ended without incident at this stage although there have been a number of arrests, charges and “attitude adjustment” lectures.

Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta says that while it was “normal for people to hold different political opinions, they must not violate the rights of others nor offend the highest institution in the country”.

“Protecting the monarchy was not only the duty of the government but of the people too.”

“But we have to be careful not to infringe others’ rights or offend the country’s highest institution. Nobody will accept it.”

Mr Buddhipongse also had a warning for people on social media saying they must careful as “some information had been distorted, leading to misunderstanding, confusion and even hatred”.

The Minister has warned protesters from both sides to “avoid confrontation”, saying such clashes would be damaging to the country.

Anti-government protesters have been holding regular demonstrations about constitutional issues, demanding a new charter and accusing the government of stifling free speech.

It’s starting to get complicated following the names of all the protest groups – the Coordination Centre for Vocational Students, he People Protecting the Institution (supporting the Thai monarchy), the Committee Campaigning for a People’s Constitution, the Coordination Centre of Vocational Students for the Protection of National Institutions, Free Youth, Association for the Protection of the Constitution. The groups are also getting increasingly creative with flash mobs, using cosplay and narrative to code their complaints as fantasy, and posting their protests on social media.

Whilst their demands for constitutional reform, a change of government and greater freedom of speech have been consistent, in the past few weeks criticism of the Thai Royal Family has crept into the speeches given by pro-democracy activists.

Army chief General Apirat Kongsompong recently warned student protesters against dragging the monarchy into their list of grievances against the government. Speaking with tears in his eyes at a news conference a few weeks ago, Apirat urged students to show respect and refrain from criticising the Royal Family.

“I’d like to ask Thai citizens to set a neutral mind and consider what they see at the protests. I understand that they’re exercising their democratic rights under the regime (his words), but I think those vituperations and inapt language are making many feel uncomfortable.”

Yesterday’s Committee Campaigning for a People’s Constitution demonstration was countered with a ‘spoiler’ rally outside the Thai parliament by 50 members of a movement to protect the monarchy. They also asked anti-government demonstrators, verbally and with banners, to “leave the monarchy alone”.

“The constitution can be amended but the highest institution cannot be touched.”

Mo violence was reported and the two groups later dispersed.

Student protesters also held an anti-government rally to criticise the government at Thammasat University’s Rangsit Campus, and in Chiang Mai over the weekend when around 200 student protesters came to hear pro-democracy activist Anon Nampa speak after being released from custody on bail.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | The Thaiger | Reuters

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    me

    August 11, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    props to the youth. you can’t stop society from evolving (and hopefully growing)

  2. Avatar

    Rinky Stingpiece

    August 11, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    “Mo violence”? Spellchecker?!

  3. Avatar

    Pedro

    August 11, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    It’s good that you let people comment. Other news sites shut off the comments on all the important issues in Thailand. That’s part of the reason why people are bored with the establishment in Thailand. The truth will set us free!

  4. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    August 11, 2020 at 11:13 pm

    They might as well keep the protesters off the streets because they litter, or smoke and threaten the environment.
    This is just a lame excuse to stop a valid and overdue protest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Universities

Protesters flood Thammasat University for major anti-government rally

The Thaiger & The Nation

Published

on

Protesters flood Thammasat University for major anti-government rally | The Thaiger

Today, Thammasat University’s Tha Prachan campus in Bangkok is seeing thousands of protesters flood its campus in what they say is the biggest rally yet against the Prayut-led Thai government. After unsuccessfully trying to gain permission from university officials, the protesters broke through the gates of the history-laden university and are now gathering for the schedule of anti-government speeches. Earlier this week protesters were hoping for around 50,000 demonstrators with security officials saying it would more likely to be around 20,000. Today’s poor Bangkok weather is likely to make a crowd size more the latter than the former. Security officials […]

Continue Reading

Thailand

US accuses Chinese companies of exploitation along the Mekong River

The Thaiger & The Nation

Published

on

US accuses Chinese companies of exploitation along the Mekong River | The Thaiger

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is accusing Chinese companies of “exploitative practices” in the Mekong River region after a new partnership has been launched to combat “transnational crimes”. Pompeo named the China Communications Construction Company as one of the big offenders and says the Chinese Communist Party is responsible for the increase in human, wildlife and drug trafficking in the region. He says the new partnership will also strengthen water security for partner countries where China has added to a drought in the region as an upstream damming by China has been carried out in “a completely non-transparent […]

Continue Reading

Thailand

Parliament to host a ‘safe zone’ forum for students’ demands on September 22

The Thaiger

Published

on

Parliament to host a ‘safe zone’ forum for students’ demands on September 22 | The Thaiger

A ‘dialogue’ is to be held in a Thai parliamentary setting on September 22. A parliamentary committee is responding to the demands from student and opposition protesters, who are calling for reform of the government, a new constitution, and even reform of the Thai Monarchy – the latter previously considered a ‘no go’ zone. The committee describes the upcoming forum as an intimidation-free “safe zone” for the students to voice their opinions and share them directly with the country’s MPs Padipat Suntiphada, chairman of the House Committee on Political Development, Mass Communications and Public Participation, says the panel invited students to share […]

Continue Reading
Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending