Smaller protest group outside Army HQ in Bangkok last night

PHOTO: Yahoo News Malaysia

A much smaller group of activists gathered outside the Royal Thai Army headquarters on Ratchadamnoen Avenue, Bangkok last night in protest against an opinion expressed by the now-former deputy spokesperson. The protesters, part of the ‘Free Youth’ group who protested in Bangkok at the Democracy Monument on Saturday afternoon, rallied outside the main gate of the Thai army HQ early in the evening.

The Army and police made no attempt to move them.

They were targeting Col Nusra Vorapatratorn, who posted comments on her Facebook page about the protesters at the Saturday gathering.She patronised the pro-democracy protesters as “innocent, naive and ignorant” – in T’English* it read as “mung ming”. She said their time would be “better spent making a living instead of taking to the streets”. The post was later removed but someone did a screen grab and posted it on social media where, of course, it went viral, sparking outrage from supporters of the anti-government protests.

*T’English is our way of describing Thai language, loosely translated, and written, in English.

Col Nusra was ‘sidelined’ from her position of deputy spokesperson and now serves at the Directorate of Operations. The army has publicly distanced itself from Col Nusra, saying her post was an opinion and “not the position of the army”.

Saturday’s demonstration was organised by the Student Union of Thailand and the Free Youth group. They demanded PM Prayut Chan-o-cha dissolve parliament, stop intimidating critics and stifling free speech, and draw up a new Constitution.

The students are planning another rally today to be held at the Mahasarakham University. In an echo of Saturday’s protest, said to draw between 1,000 and 2,500 people (depending on various reports), there were also student rallies held in Chiang Mai, Ubon Ratchathani and Rayong. More rallies are being organised through social media at the moment.

The police yesterday issued a number of threatening statements saying they are ready to arrest key organisers following the illegal rally. (Under the current emergency decree there are rules against organising large public gatherings). At this stage no arrests have been made.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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