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Protests

Bangkok city intersection closed and secured ahead of next rally at 5pm

The Thaiger

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Bangkok city intersection closed and secured ahead of next rally at 5pm | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Free Youth/Facebook
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Police have closed Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong Intersection and Ratchadamri Road, just hours before the next round of anti-government protests were scheduled to begin at 5pm. Ratchadamri Road is being closed all the way to the Pratunam intersection. The closure, on a Friday afternoon, provides the city an additional traffic headache.

The police secured the area just before 2pm today.

Early yesterday morning a State of Emergency was enacted giving police special powers to arrest gatherings of more than 5 and clear “areas” at their discretion. The new edict also gives authorities the power to shut down dissenting media and arrest people making comments “that could affect national security”.

Police allowed a gathering to assemble last night after it was apparent the numbers were swelling way beyond expectations, mostly made up of school and university students, that reached 15,000+, a few more than the new limit of 5 people. Some estimates have placed the numbers upwards of 25,000. No official estimate has been released. The protesters dispersed quietly just after 10pm, vowing to return again today.

The PM, officials, police and protesters, have so far been careful to avoid violence. Apart from a few scuffles and broken barriers, peaceful assembly has been the order of the day.

Meanwhile, contractors who provided PA and sound services for last night’s gathering in Bangkok’s shopping district, have been arrested. Thai Lawyers for Human Rights report that 6 of the crew have been formerly arrested. This, while police threaten to track down and prosecute “every protester” who attended last night’s rally.

A gate leading to the skywalk overlooking the intersection of Ratchadamri and Ploenchit roads was broken down after police locked it to prevent access to the concourse area, fearful that it could have been overloaded with the throngs of protesters.

“Is this a peaceful protest?” Col. Kissana said. “I urge citizens to think about it carefully since they can’t undo their criminal records.”

The seven suspects are being detained at the regional Border Patrol Police headquarters in Pathum Thani’s Khlong Luang district, where several protest leaders who were arrested in the early hours of Thursday are also being held, the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights said.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Avatar

    patty

    October 16, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    Prayut is out of control. The protests have been peaceful and now the idiot is using the police to threaten protestors with arrests and criminal records..for what??

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      October 16, 2020 at 3:45 pm

      Sorry to break it to you, Patty, but anyone who leads a military coup and seizes control of a country is by definition “out of control”.

  2. Avatar

    Fabian

    October 16, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    Protesters, don’t give up, Thai chana!

    The dictator will lose eventually.

    • Avatar

      patty

      October 16, 2020 at 3:07 pm

      Hope you’re right Fabian. I for one have had enough of this clown. My work has been seriously affected because of this idiot’s lies. deceits and bad decisions. And obviously, Im not the only one

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        October 16, 2020 at 3:47 pm

        Obviously.

  3. Avatar

    brian

    October 16, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    Protestors are a move ahead of these old fools, they will just go somewhere else. Funny how the leaders of a coup are now so concerned with peace, order and national security!

  4. Avatar

    Issan John

    October 16, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    They were a “move ahead” until they became an umbrella for the anti-monarchists, border-openers, LGBTQ, women’s rights and Pussy Bars.

    The only way they’ll get back on track is to concentrate on “democracy” rather than try to tear down everything in one go, otherwise it’ll just go the way of Hong Kong.

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Protests

Some Thai students decide to boycott their graduation

The Thaiger

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Some Thai students decide to boycott their graduation | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

Their Majesties the King and Queen of Thailand will attend Thammasat University’s graduation ceremonies tonight and tomorrow evening. But there’s been a growing contingent of graduates who are boycotting the ceremony as a personal protest in relation to current rallies around Thailand about government and constitutional reform.

The night, the biggest night of a student’s schooling, is a special event for many Thai students when a member of the Royal Family frequently attend the ceremonies to confer the degrees in a parade of passing students.

The protests, that started back in July by a core of university students, openly mentioning the reform of the Thai Monarchy for the first time, have now morphed into a common thread of discussion in social media. The role of the Thai Monarch, in the past a taboo topic for polite conversation in Thailand, is now being subjected to frequent media coverage and discussion.

Usually a night to remember for many students, it’s not completely uncommon for graduating students to miss the commencement ceremony. The highly choreographed graduation ceremonies are voluntary although the chance to accept their certificate from a member of the Royal Family, including the photo that would take pride of place in homes around Thailand, is usually not passed up.

Now a rump of students, not only at Thammasat, are taking the opportunity for a significant personal protest, and deciding to forgo the ceremonies and make their own symbolic statement about the current protest issues. In most cases the events involve an entire day of rehearsals, culminating in mere seconds as they receive their rolled-up certificate in a regimented, solemn and formal ceremony. There can also be quite a lot of costs involved with the hiring of graduation garments with strict dress codes surpassing the wardrobes of many of the young students.

One post itemised the costs including up to 500 baht for a new skirt, a 1,000 baht for hair and grooming, including a hair cut and dyeing their hair back to black if they’d decided to go ‘colour’ during their studies, and a pair of shoes for up to 1,000 baht. Then there’s make-up fees, a photographer (some graduation photos can be ‘event’ in themselves), both adding another 6,000-10,000 baht to the costs.

Some protesters earlier this month announced on social media posts that they were missing their graduation describing it as a “superfluous and onerous event”. Although plenty of graduates have missed the ceremonies in the past for various reasons, now they’re posting about their boycott, complete with explanations calling for reforms for the role of Thailand’s Head of State.

Some graduates have also taken to social media explaining why they will be attending the graduation ceremonies, in most cases saying they will attend for the benefit of their parents.

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Protests

Court rejects bid to arrest activists who led march on German Embassy

Maya Taylor

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Court rejects bid to arrest activists who led march on German Embassy | The Thaiger
Monday's gathering at the German Embassy in Bangkok - PHOTO: เยาวชนปลดแอก - Free YOUTH

A bid to apprehend 5 anti-government activists, who led a march to the Germany Embassy on Monday from the Sam Yan intersection, has failed, after a court in Bangkok rejected a police application for arrest warrants. The Bangkok South Criminal Court has turned down an application from Pitak Suthikul, acting superintendent of Thungmahamek police in Bangkok.

Pitak had requested arrest warrants for Passarawalee Thanakijwibulpol, Korakot Sangyenpan, Chanin Wongsri, Cholathit Chotsawas, and Benja Apan, who would have faced charges of sedition and other offences, if taken into custody. However, the court told officials to instead issue a summons, given that the protesters are students who only gathered for a short time and are unlikely to flee.

On Monday, protesters marched to the German Embassy to submit a petition calling on the country’s government to investigate whether Thailand’s Head of State conducted official business while in Germany. The German government has responded to confirm there has been no violation of the country’s ban on conducting foreign politics on German soil.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Tests show Samui woman did not contract virus at quarantine hotel

Maya Taylor

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Tests show Samui woman did not contract virus at quarantine hotel | The Thaiger
PHOTO: WHO/Ploy Phutpheng

Tests carried out by the Disease Control Department show that the woman who tested positive for Covid-19 after being discharged from quarantine and travelling to Koh Samui, did not become infected at the quarantine facility. Dr Sopon Iamsirithaworn says the results do not match those of 2 other guests who tested positive at the hotel in Samut Prakan, just outside Bangkok.

Tests show that the woman, who has dual Thai/French citizenship, contracted the infection 17 days earlier. However, Sopon says that while officials are still unsure as to where she became infected, the existing guidelines for quarantine facilities need to be reviewed.

“Though we haven’t found the source of her infection, we still have to revise our guidelines for alternative state quarantine sites and cut down the risk of spreading the virus.”

A national quarantine policy, currently at draft stage, sets out strict safety and hygiene standards for all quarantine facilities to adhere to. The guidelines cover everything from screening for suspected cases, data collection and reporting, as well as the provision of services and overall management of the venues. Health officials are also proposing cutting quarantine to 10 days and using movement tracing for an additional 4 days after guests are discharged.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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