Woman charged after insulting PM Prayut in Ratchaburi

Photo via ThaiRath

Three police officers charged a middle aged woman for causing chaos in public. The woman, about 50 years old, reportedly insulted Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and blocked the road in front of a community hall in the central province of Ratchaburi 10 minutes before the PM arrived at the scene.

PM Prayut visited a community hall in the Baan Pong district of Ratchaburi yesterday to oversee a government development plan in the area. Many locals gathered to welcome the 68 year old PM while police officers stood by to ensure the premier’s safety.

However, about ten minutes before the PM arrived at the hall, two women, one of whom was identified as Wantana, rushed to the middle of the road and raised a three-finger salute, while loudly complaining about the PM’s work. Protesters have used the three-finger salute as a symbol of the French Revolutionary ideal of liberty, equality, and fraternity. The gesture was revived by protesters in the 2020 Thai political crisis.

When officers urged them to stop, one of them stepped back, but Wantana remained on the road, waiting for the PM. Two policewomen and one policeman tried to persuade Wantana to move but she refused and tried to get back on the road.

Wantana continued to shout at the PM so one of the policewomen covered her mouth.

According to a report on Thairath, some local reporters urged the officers to calm down because it would create a bad image for the Thai police but the officers dragged her into a van and took her to Baan Pong Police Station.

One officer claimed that Wantana bit her finger when she covered her mouth and did not obey police orders so she will face three charges, including:

  • Section 368 of the Criminal Law: failure to comply with the officer’s orders without a reason. The punishment will be imprisonment for up to 10 days, a fine of up to 5,000 baht, or both.
  • Section 370 of the Criminal Law: making a loud noise or acting loudly in public without reasonable cause. The punishment will be a fine of up to 1,000 baht.
  • Section 138 of the Criminal Law: fighting or obstructing an officer who is performing duty. The punishment will be imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to 20,000 baht, or both.

Wantana was later released on bail of 10,000 baht and gave an interview with Khaosod about her motive. Wantana said…

“I wanted to complain to the PM about the economic crisis. It has affected me and my family so much. I submitted a complaint to Baan Pong Police Station and the Ministry of Interior, but there was no development. Problems did not get solved.”

Wantana emphasised that…

“The PM should not only listen to the clapping sounds from his fans but also the problems that the residents face. I tried to say it to him, but I got pulled out of the scene even though I did not do anything wrong. I was attacked and injured on my knees and left ankle. They (the police) also blamed me for attacking them.”

Khaosod also reported that Wantana was a former Member of Parliament for Ratchaburi province in 2019. She joined the election under the Pheu Chart, or For the Nation Party.

Wantana revealed that she did not want to play any part in Thai politics again. She said…

“I am too old to be a politician. I am waiting for the next election. I will vote for the PM that can solve the economic issues that all people are facing, and the PM that listens to the voice of the people, not PM Prayut, who only sits on the throne.”

Woman charged after insulting PM Prayut in Ratchaburi | News by Thaiger

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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