Thailand News Today | Activists plan protests all across Thailand


Thai authorities have ramped up security in the capital ahead of expected protests when the Constitutional Court releases its decision on the future of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha later today.

The court will rule on whether General Prayut’s constitutionally stipulated eight-year term is up. General Prayut came to power following a 2014 coup.

Anti-government activists will hold rallies in Bangkok as the Constitutional Court delivers its opinion on Gen Prayut’s tenure, slated for around 15:00 today.

Organisers have announced demonstrations at Pathumwan and Ratchaprasong intersections from 2 and 5 pm respectively. Reports indicate that activists will also gather outside the Constitutional Court building and at Thammasat University’s Tha Pra Chan campus.

Other possible locations include Asoke Intersection, Democracy Monument, Democrat Party Headquarters, Government House, Lumphini Park, National Assembly, and Victory Monument; as well as near prominent public squares, government buildings, and roadways.

Gen Prayut’s supporters are expected to hold counter-protests across the city.

Authorities will likely increase security at the Constitutional Court and at any of the named venues. Demonstrators may block and/or march along roadways, prompting localised transport disruptions. Clashes between opposing groups of activists or police and demonstrators are possible, particularly if activists try to bypass security barriers, and mass arrests may occur.

Security forces will be on the lookout for any action that breaks the country’s most egregious crime according to the elites, lese-majeste or criticism of the monarchy.

Visitors are strongly advised to avoid the protests at all costs, due to possible violence and the risk of arrest. Also, plan for possible local transport disruptions.

Protests in 2020 began on academic campuses but were brought to a halt by the COVID-19 pandemic. with demonstrations against the government but expanded to include unprecedented demands for reform of the monarchy.



The Constitutional Court will today rule on whether suspended Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has exceeded an eight-year limit as premier.

General Prayut seized power in a 2014 coup and became prime minister soon after. The air has been filled with speculation and conspiracy theories since the court accepted the opposition’s petition on August 24 and suspended Gen Prayut as PM while the court considered whether he should have left office last month, a case filed by the opposition Pheu Thai party.

The question for the court to decide is if Gen Prayut’s eight years in charge should include his time as leader of the junta he installed after toppling the Pheu Thai government.

Some want the eight years to begin when the new constitution came into force in 2017 while some suggest 2019 when an election was held and the new Parliament chose him to head the government.

Unlike previous editions, the current Thai constitution clearly stipulates the term limits for the office of PM. Article 158 states…

The prime minister shall not hold office for more than eight years in total, whether or not consecutively. However, this shall not include the period during which the prime minister carries out duties after vacating the office.

There is a strong case for counting his tenure from 2014, arguing that the constitution is intended to prevent a monopoly of power and what matters is the spirit of the Constitution. But hey, will the court rule against the very person who gave them their jobs? If not, the case for the ex-military dictator is that the eight-year limit cannot be retroactive and tenure should be counted from the time the charter came into force. This could keep Gen Prayut in power until 2025 if his party wins the elections.

Only Prayut’s most fanatical supporters believe the tenure started in 2019 when he was sworn in as prime minister under the new constitution. They believe he could serve until mid-2027.

Tenure is just one of many issues the opposition wants to resolve in their efforts to remove the retired general permanently from office. So far, they have tried four parliamentary motions of censure, a conflict of interest case over his residence, and months of street protests.

An election is due by May 7 next year at the latest, according to the election commission. Friday’s ruling will determine whether the 68-year-old can run. Should the court decide Prayuth has passed the eight-year limit, parliament will elect a new premier from among the losing candidates in the 2019 House vote.



Residents in 11 of Thailand’s provinces are being warned as tropical storm Noru is expected to push the Chao Phraya River to the brink.

The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation and the Royal Irrigation Department issued the warnings yesterday for 11 provinces that include Bangkok, Uthai Thani, Suphan Buri, Samut Prakan, Pathum Thani, Sing Buri, Lop Buri, Nonthaburi, Ayutthaya, Chai Nat, and Ang Thong.

Storm Noru passed over northeastern Thailand late Wednesday, and has increased the Chao Phraya River’s flow rate, prompting the Royal Irrigation Department to speed up the river’s discharge in the Chai Nat barrage.

More than 4,000 people in Thailand’s northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani have been evacuated as of Wednesday night as Noru advanced on the region. The typhoon was downgraded to a tropical storm as it hit the kingdom. The Meteorological Department says it will gradually be downgraded to a depression and low-pressure system.

Earlier this week, Storm Noru hit the Philippines, causing at least six deaths. Vietnam was more recently hit by the storm, with airports shuttering and mandatory evacuations enforced.



People flying in and out of Bangkok this Friday afternoon will have their flights delayed because the Royal Thai Air Force wants to spend that sweet taxpayer money on an air parade to welcome their new boss.

The RTF received a lot of criticism from Thai netizens for the ceremony over Don Mueng Airport but insists it goes ahead to honour a retiring Air Force chief and welcome a successor, which they say is a very, oh so very important tradition.

The RTF also held drills on September 23 and 27 so that the big day could be picture-perfect. The exercises raised many complaints because they have caused delays to flights.

The ceremony will be held to honour the current Royal Thai Air Force Commander who will retire this year and welcome the new commander.

The RTF spokesperson warned all of the relevant departments to avoid using those airspaces during the ceremony period.

He concluded that the RTF would like to apologise for the inconvenience, but the ceremony would go ahead anyway.



The third baby elephant of the year has been born at a botanical garden in Pattaya. The Nong Nooch Gardens Pattaya welcomed the new little member, named “พลายพอใจ” with a religious ceremony yesterday.

The rite was held in front of an elephant statue in the garden. Photos show a monk blessing Ply Poa Jai as the little elephant wears orange flowers around his neck.

In honour of พลายพอใจ’s birth, the garden extended a buy-one-get-one-free ticket campaign for people who want to see him up close.

As the kingdom’s national animal, elephants are a beloved part of Thai culture.

Due to their cuteness, baby elephants especially get a lot of love in Thailand. Back in April, netizens went wild over photos posted on Facebook of six naughty wild elephant calves that ran off from their herd to cool off in a pool of mud at a national park in the central PrachinBuri province. The baby elephants played for so long that they exhausted themselves and had to be helped out by the park rangers.

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