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Monarchy supporters claim protesters weaponising Covid-19

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Pro-Monarchy groups request military at the Grand Palace to protect from protesters. (YouTube)

Pro-monarchy groups have requested military protection against a protest planned for Saturday, going so far as to claim protest organisers are weaponising Covid-19. The Centre of the People for the Protection of Monarchy submitted a petition today requesting military intervention from Army Chief General Narongpan Jittkaewtae in protecting the monarchy against protesters.

The Free Youth movement is planning a large protest for Saturday in which they intend to meet at the Democracy Monument and march from there to the Grand Palace, despite a recent Royal Gazette decree design to stop demonstrations. The former deputy director of the National Intelligence Agency questioned the significance of the march’s date falling on the 56th anniversary of the first armed rebellion against Thailand by the banned Communist Party.

The leader of Thai Pakdee, a party in favour of the monarchy, took to Facebook today to essentially accuse the protesters of biological warfare. In his post, he shared his suspicion that the protesters intend to used the gathering to intentionally spread what he called the “biological weapon” of Covid-19. He believes they plan to create an outbreak that they will blame on the government and monarchy to highlight their failures in handling the Covid-19 pandemic.

The leaders of both groups want the military and other security agents to be proactive in protecting the monarchy in preparation for Saturday’s protest. They say the Grand Palace is a sacred site, as the home of both the official residents of the King and of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Supporters say these sites are held in high esteem by the people of Thailand and protesters must not be allowed to desecrate the palace.

But amid this heightened rhetoric, Thai Pakdee asks supporters of the monarchy to refrain from counter-protests and avoid exacerbating the situation. The leader cryptically urged people to wait until the right moment.

” [Wait until] the situation is right and, at that moment, everything will change and it will not end the way it was.”

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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