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Thai PM to chair National Security Council meeting today following protest violence

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Wikimedia

The Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha, is set to chair a meeting of the National Security Council today, following violent clashes between police and pro-democracy activists at the weekend. The police have been sharply criticised by academics and protesters, after water cannon, tear gas, and rubber bullets were used against protesters in the capital on Saturday.

According to media reports, the pro-democracy activists were attempting to force their way through a barricade of cargo containers at Sanam Luang, in order to reach the Grand Palace. At least 33 people were injured in the subsequent melee, including a number of police officers and journalists. 20 people have been arrested and face charges of lèse majesté and violating the current ban on mass gatherings.

Thai PBS World reports that as activists were dispersing, some began to run riot along Ratchadamnoen Avenue, destroying portraits of His Majesty the King and damaging potted plants along the route.

Meanwhile, Ekkachai Srivilas from the King Prajadhipok Institute is calling for dialogue between the opposing groups, urging the Reconciliation Committee to focus more on talks instead of carrying out studies and filing reports. The Reconciliation Committee is an initiative created by the government late last year, but activists and government critics have refused to take part, saying the committee is merely an attempt to keep the current administration in power.

Gothom Arya from the Peace Study and Development Centre of Mahidol University is also urging all sides to resolve the conflict through dialogue and peaceful means. He has criticised the use of force by police officers, while also calling on protesters to refrain from the practice of holding leaderless rallies, which he says can lead to injuries or even deaths.

The call for peace talks is echoed by fellow academic, Padtheera Narkurairattana, from Mahidol University’s Human Rights and Peace Study Institute. She says the use of weapons to resolve political disputes will only create more devastation and is calling on the government to listen to the people and resolve the political impasse through dialogue.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Monday, March 22, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    A general election might solve matters, but that will not be allowed, not a fair one anyway.

  2. Avatar

    Roger Bruce

    Monday, March 22, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    Who will wipe that arrogant smirk off the face of that swine

    I live for the day they all go down and in time they will

    Good Luck Thailand

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Monday, March 22, 2021 at 7:42 pm

    How could a general election be justified before it’s due, Toby, just as a question of principle?

    There are only a few hundred protesters in Bangkok, with no protests or even signs of protests in the provinces anywhere.

    That’s not to support the current regime, but it would be absurd if all it took to make ANY government resign was a few hundred stone throwing yobs who have no political mandate or even political demands beyond the government’s resignation.

  4. Avatar

    Political Observer

    Monday, March 22, 2021 at 8:46 pm

    Dear Leader is nervous about his “job”. He wants to keep it.

  5. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Monday, March 22, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    Well John when it is due it will solve matters.
    I am sure that there is a silent majority that wants rid of the clown and his henchmen,
    If I am wrong and he has the support, he will keep power.
    I would bet money he would be voted out and have to flee the country. as all the the other scum Thai leaders have. With his looted bribes and profits of his corrupt administration.
    He even lives rent free in a military house which he is not entitled to . . .

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