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Activists end rally after submitting demands

Activists end rally after submitting demands

BANGKOK: Pro-democracy protest leaders ended their overnight rally early Sunday (Sept 20) after presenting a list of their demands to the Metropolitan Police Bureau chief.

politicsmilitary
By Bangkok Post

Sunday 20 September 2020, 11:31AM


Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, the co-leader of the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration, negotiates with Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner Pol Lt Gen Pakapong Pongpetra on Sunday. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul / Bangkok Post

Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, the co-leader of the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration, negotiates with Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner Pol Lt Gen Pakapong Pongpetra on Sunday. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul / Bangkok Post

However, activists plan to gather again on Thursday outside Parliament, while student leader Parit ‘Penguin’ Chiwarak has called on the public to take part in a general strike on Oct 14, the anniversary of the 1973 student uprising, reports the Bangkok Post.

The student-led group’s demands controversially include reform of the monarchy, outlined in a 10-point list that leaders wanted to present to the Privy Council. 

In a brief encounter near the Privy Council Chambers, Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner Pol Lt Gen Pakapong Pongpetra accepted the petition from Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, a co-leader of the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration.

The leaders had originally planned to march to Government House but later changed the plan and said they would walk to the chambers in the Grand Palace compound. But they were blocked by police barriers.

Earlier in the morning, demonstrators performed a ceremony to install a plaque to declare the beginning of a new people’s movement.

The movement’s three core demands have been a new constitution, the resignation of the current government and an end to harassment of critics of the government.

After the demands were presented to the city police chief, Mr Parit announced the end of the rally, which had drawn tens of thousands of people to Sanam Luang since Saturday afternoon.

However, he said protest leaders would gather again outside Parliament on Thursday, the second day of a two-day debate on motions to amend the constitution.

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As well, he said, another event is being planned for Oct 14 at a location to be announced later.

Grateful for peaceful rally

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has thanked protesters for staging a peaceful demonstration at Sanam Luang on Saturday night and for their cooperation with the authorities, according to his personal spokesman, Lt Gen Kongcheep Tantrawanich, the Bangkok Post also reported.

He also thanked security officials who took part in the peace-keeping operation. The rally attracted between 30,000 and 50,000 people at its peak on Saturday night but there were no serious incidents.

Gen Prawit was particularly full of praise for the Royal Thai Police Office for its work to provide convenience and security for the participants throughout the demonstration, which ended peacefully on Sunday morning.

All told, 57 companies of police, or about 8,500 officers, were deployed at 14 locations around Thammasat University and Sanam Luang on Saturday. Their number included border patrol police from Chai Nat province and anti-riot officers from Nakhon Pathom.

Other security precautions included metal detectors at entry points, while health workers set up checkpoints to take the temperature of people attending the rally.

Most rally participants wore masks to protect against Covid-19 but social distancing was not widely in evidence given the size of the crowds on Saturday night.

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Jor12 | 22 September 2020 - 14:17:44

K..."A Nation in a positive growing process." Best describe how is that relevant when you have a authoritarian military regime, if you are critical of the status quo you either disappear, are beaten to a pulp or have spurious charges laid against you and accepted by a judiciary appointed by the military regime.

DeKaaskopp | 22 September 2020 - 10:55:34

What an absurd comment sleepy Ro.! Everyone who learned a little bit about Thailand's history would know about the many times the military intervened already.

Rorri_2 | 21 September 2020 - 15:06:45

"DeKaaskopp | 21 September 2020 - 00:36:19

"Times of army interference are over"  Kurt,  I guess you believe in Santa Claus too !" just why do I think that if Kurt said "wait for the army, to get involved," you would have said something to contradict it.  

Kurt | 21 September 2020 - 10:16:17

That plaque thing lives apparently it's own life. Police start investigations about it.   Many years ago a plaque was removed, till now police never did solve that 'crime. 40 Police officers now checking all recording from the speaker boxes used during demonstration. Seem to be desperate to find something in their drive to make arrests and disturb a Nation in Peace

DeKaaskopp | 21 September 2020 - 00:36:19

"Times of army interference are over"  Kurt,  I guess you believe in Santa Claus too !

Fascinated | 20 September 2020 - 22:56:38

The establishment really is clutching at straws considering charges over this peaceful demonstration. 'illegally installed an object in the ground' how desperate is that, especially considering the Deputy PM congratulated them on their restraint?

Kurt | 20 September 2020 - 18:49:22

A successful and peaceful demonstration for thai democracy by people of all levels/age. +Erection of a new political party. This was a general repetition. More demonstrations to come, with more people as they have seen now that it is safe to do so. Times of army interference are over. A Nation in a positive growing process.

 

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