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Ministry of Foreign Affairs responds to US Senators’ support for pro-democracy movement

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After a number of US senators introduced a resolution in support of Thailand’s pro-democracy movement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has hit back, accusing them of not understanding the situation. In its statement, the MFA says Thailand has always respected the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. It goes on to claim the US resolution, introduced by Thai-American senator Tammy Duckworth, is not an official statement and only has the backing of a handful of senators.

MFA spokesman Tanee Sangrat says those involved in introducing the resolution are misguided in their beliefs and don’t have an accurate picture of the political situation in Thailand. He adds that the government has always allowed peaceful gatherings, but that such rallies must remain within the confines of the law. In the case of the activists who have been charged, this is a result of them breaking the law.

Pro-democracy protests have been taking place in Bangkok and around the country since mid-July, with activists calling for the resignation of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and a re-write of the Constitution, followed by the dissolution of Parliament and fresh elections. They are also calling for reforms to Thailand’s Monarchy.

Added to those calls are growing demands for the country’s lèse majesté law to be abolished. The law prohibits insulting, defaming or criticising the Monarchy, and carries a sentence of up to 15 years’ imprisonment. At least 12 political activists have now been charged under the law for their role in recent pro-democracy protests.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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