Connect with us

Politics

University protesters may be prosecuted over comments

The Thaiger & The Nation

Published 

 on 

University protesters may be prosecuted over comments | The Thaiger
PHOTO: - Bloomberg.com
  • follow us in feedly

Monday night’s anti-government rally at Thammasat University is said to have risked “offending the Monarchy”, sparking fears that it could trigger violent confrontations between royalists and their opponents. Comments made by protesters at the university’s campus in Pathum Thani may have violated Section 112 of the Criminal Code, also known as the lèse-majesté law. Students announced a set of 10 demands, including changes to the country’s highest institution, Section 112 and royal prerogatives.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday said that the government has been monitoring the situation and admitted he’s worried about it. He declined to comment on the protesters’ demands. Thammasat University issued a statement distancing itself from the protest and apologised for the rally. The university said the organisers asked for permission to hold the rally to push for their 3 original demands: constitutional amendments, the dissolution of the House and an end to the intimidation of critics of the government.

But, the university said, during the rally the protesters “acted and spoke beyond permitted bounds”, particularly on issues which were “delicate and sensitive to the feelings of the public at large”. Their actions went beyond permitted limits and were “the personal responsibility of the protesters”, the statement continued, since the organisers had struck an agreement with police beforehand.

Police will take legal action against all involved, particularly those who are not students of the university. The university says it is willing to cooperate and ensure justice. For its students who acted improperly during the rally, Thammasat will itself take action, based on facts and in line with its regulations.

The university has also pledged to prevent a recurrence of Monday’s incidents, saying from now it will ban political activities on its premises that risk violating the law. Its deputy dean apologised yesterday for comments made during the rally. He said the organisers had “failed to adhere to the agenda agreed upon” when they sought and obtained permission for the demonstration.

On October 6, 1976, soldiers, police and far-right groups surrounded the Thammasat University campus in Tha Prachan and killed dozens of student activists who had gathered to oppose the return of Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn, who was overthrown and fled Thailand after an October 1973 uprising. 1 of the reasons cited by the authorities to quell that rally was that activists had allegedly insulted the Monarchy.

The chairman of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, warned in a Facebook broadcast on yesterday that any demands that “cross the line” will lead to a confrontation with the movement that seeks to protect the Monarchy. He predicted this would end up in an incident similar to the 1976 tragedy.

He added that the protesters’ 3 original demands are legitimate and likely to succeed.

“But crossing the line will render the student movement illegitimate and in the end, they will achieve nothing.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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.

Thailand's fastest growing portal for news and information, in association with The Nation.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    rinky stingpiece

    August 12, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    They could always hold a refendum, they like those, don’t they?

Leave a Reply

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

Protests

5 protesters to be charged over a rally in front of the Thai Army’s headquarters

The Thaiger

Published

on

5 protesters to be charged over a rally in front of the Thai Army’s headquarters | The Thaiger

With impeccable timing, Nang Loeng police have summoned 5 protest leaders to appear before the Special Prosecutor’s Office at the Dusit District Court in Bangkok. They will be formally charged over their roles in a protest in front of the Army’s headquarters on July 20. At the time it followed an online exchange from an Army official criticising the students who had been protesting at the Democracy Monument days before.

The protest targeted Colonel Nusra Vorapatratorn, deputy spokesperson of the Army. Posting on her Facebook page about the Saturday protest, the Colonel said that rally’s participants should “focus on doing their jobs rather than joining the protest.” The Colonel later deleted the social media post.

Another army spokesman, Colonel Winthai Suvaree, spoke to the media at the time and stated that Nusra “had expressed her personal opinion” and that “she is no longer the deputy spokesperson”.

After protesting outside the Army over the contents of the post, 5 protest leaders face official charges of “violating the Emergency Decree, the Traffic Act and use of loudspeakers in public without permission. The 5 protagonists facing charges are human rights lawyer Anon Nampa, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Piyarath “Toto” Jongthep, Suwanna Tarnlek and Panupong Jardnok (Mike Rayong).

All 5 deny the charges and say they will defend their roles in court.

The charges follow a weekend of protests, with up to some 30,000 people gathering in the Bangkok rain to rally against the government and confirm a 10-point manifesto which includes demands to reform Thai politics and the country’s monarchy. Specially the demands include the dissolution of the Thai parliament, standing down of the current PM and a new constitution to replace the 2017 Thai charter.

Today the Fine Arts Department has also says it will file charges of “trespassing on an archaeological site” after protesters yesterday embedded a symbolic brass plaque to replace another plaque that dates back to the 1932 Siam Revolution (when a bloodless coup overthrew the ‘absolute monarchy’ in Thailand). That plaque mysteriously disappeared in 2017.

The protesters responded this afternoon by saying that Sanam Luang is not an archaeological site, but a “public space for recreation and for vendors and hawkers”.

Following on from the support of the crowd over the weekend, the protesters are planning to stage another protest in front of Parliament this Thursday. A House debate on constitutional amendments is due to start this Wednesday.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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

Thailand

Protesters’ plaque damaged historical site – Thai Fine Arts Department

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Protesters’ plaque damaged historical site – Thai Fine Arts Department | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

The Thai Fine Arts Department claim the pro-democracy protesters, who installed a symbolic brass plaque in an area next to the Grand Palace yesterday morning, broke the law. The department filed a complaint saying the installation of the plaque damaged a historic site, a violation of the Archaeological Site Act.

Protesters cemented the plaque in the perimeter of the Royal Field, known locally as Sanam Luang. It read “At this place the people have expressed their will, that this country belongs to the people and is not the property of the monarch as they have deceived us.”

Sanam Luang is a registered archaeological site. Entering the area to install a plaque without permission is an offence under the Historical Sites, Archaeological Objects, Art Objects and National Museum Act 1961, according to the department’s director general Prateep Phengtako.

“Those who invade a historic site or destroy or depreciate it can face up to 7 years in prison and a fine of up to 700,000 baht.”

The department says since the plaque was illegally installed at Sanam Luang as part of the weekend’s protests.

“It is considered destruction and depreciation of a historic site.

Less than 24 hours after the plaque was installed, it was removed and covered with concrete. The plaque was to replace a brass plaque that commemorated the end of Siam’s absolute monarchy and the introduction of constitutional democracy for Thailand in 1932. The original plaque mysteriously disappeared in 2017 and was replaced with a new plaque with a pro-monarchist slogan.

The Fine Arts Department made no comment at the time of the removal of the old historical plaque in 2017.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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

Thailand

Protesters place plaque declaring Thailand “belongs to the people”

The Thaiger & The Nation

Published

on

Protesters place plaque declaring Thailand “belongs to the people” | The Thaiger

Protesters today have placed a plaque, in the area next to the Grand Palace, declaring Thailand “belongs to the people”. The declaration comes after anti-government sentiment has risen prompting rallies to take place in the capital hoping to oust the government and demand constituional changes. The plaque was cemented in the perimeter of the Royal Field, known locally as Sanam Luang, reading, “At this place the people have expressed their will: that this country belongs to the people and is not the property of the monarch as they have deceived us.”

The provocative wording is likely to elicit a response, probably much the same as the commemorative plaque it replaced, which mysteriously vanished in 2017. The missing plaque, embedded in the Royal Plaza, commemorated the 1932 Siam Revolution when citizens led a bloodless coup against the out-of-country monarch, and declared the new “Thailand” as a constitutional democracy.

The removed plaque was replaced with one bearing a pro-monarchist slogan and remains in place now.

The protests and plaque come despite a long-standing lese majeste law which makes it illegal for anyone to criticise the monarchy or the Royal Family. However, government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri noted that the police would not use violence against the protesters, but it was up to them to determine and prosecute any illegal speech.

The protesters swarmed Bangkok’s historic Thammasat University Tha Prachan Campus yesterday calling for the ousting of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, former coup leader and now current PM.

Police stayed back from the protest and didn’t intervene. Police and security wore coloured bandanas tied around their necks and were reportedly unarmed. Neither the police or the Palace has issued a statement in regards to the current events as of yet.

The Thaiger will have a full video report in tomorrow’s Thailand News Today. Here’s the most recent episode.

SOURCE: VOA News

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading
Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending