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PPRP MPs to hold royalist activities

BANGKOK: The ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) will ask its MPs to organise activities in their constituencies to show loyalty to the monarchy.

politics
By Bangkok Post

Friday 23 October 2020, 09:36AM


Hundreds of yellow-clad protesters gather on a section of Asian Highway 18 in Narathiwat’s Sungai Kolok district on Wednesday morning in a rally aimed at demonstrating their loyalty and support for the monarchy. Photo: Waedao Harai / Bangkok Post

Hundreds of yellow-clad protesters gather on a section of Asian Highway 18 in Narathiwat’s Sungai Kolok district on Wednesday morning in a rally aimed at demonstrating their loyalty and support for the monarchy. Photo: Waedao Harai / Bangkok Post

The resolution was reached after PPRP held an extraordinary meeting of its party MPs on Thursday (Oct 22), reports the Bangkok Post.

Ms Pailin Thiensuwan, PPRT MP for Samut Prakan and party deputy spokeswoman, said the party reaffirmed its positions at the meeting. It vows to support constitutional monarchy; improve people’s well-being; and backing moves to amend the constitution through parliamentary channels so long as the changes are not made to chapters 1 and 2 (on general provisions and the King) of the charter.

All party MPs and members will also continue to support Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha so he could keep working for all people. They will also give him moral support so he could get through the ongoing crisis.

Sanhapot Suksrimuang, a Nakhon Si Thammarat MP and deputy spokesman, said the meeting resolved to have all party members and MPs hold activities in their constituencies to show loyalty to the institution.

They could do so by organising activities with people wearing yellow shirts in their areas like those earlier organised in Chon Buri and Narathiwat provinces, said Mr Sannapong.

The activities will demonstrate there are many people who love and are ready to protect the palace, he said.

He ruled out clashes between different groups because yellow-clad people were mostly adults who had experiences in previous demonstrations. If a confrontation should occur, it will surely be caused by provocateurs, said Mr Sanhapot.

 

The announcement follows crowds estimated to number in the tens of thousands led by local administrators gathering in several provinces around the country on Wednesday in a show of loyalty to the monarchy.

The royalist demonstrations, staged in response to recent calls by some student protesters for reforms of the monarchy, took place in provinces including Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Lampang, Nan, Narathiwat and Songkhla, reported the Bangkok Post.

Some of the rallies were organised as part of ceremonies to mark the 120th birthday anniversary of Princess Srinagarindra, the late grandmother of His Majesty the King and the late mother of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great.

In Songkhla, thousands of people wearing yellow, the Thai traditional birthday colour of the King, gathered in Ranod and Sathing Phra districts. In Narathiwat, an estimated 20,000 yellow-clad people marched in Sungai Kolok district.

The royalist demonstrations come after recent mass rallies in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand called on Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to quit.

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At Ramkhamhaeng University in Bangkok, pro-monarchy groups on Wednesday announced they would protect the royal institution.

Pansuwan Na Kaew, a representative of Ramkhamhaeng University students and alumni, read a statement that condemned the Oct 14 anti-government demonstration when protesters flashed the three-finger salute at the royal motorcade of Her Majesty the Queen which was passing along Phitsanulok Road.

The statement said “those who pulled the strings behind the incident must come out to take responsibility”.

The groups urged young people loyal to the monarchy to gather on Oct 31 at Ramkhamhaeng University.

Tossapol Manunrat, a representative from vocational student group Acheewa Chuay Chart, said the groups would not resort to violence and would not confront the opposing protesters.

The groups announced it would stay at Ramkhamhaeng University to monitor the anti-government demonstration on Wednesday evening.

Scuffles took place a little after 5pm on Wednesday between the group and anti-government People’s Party protesters who came to the university.

The anti-government group moved to outside Huamak Police Station while the university asked the royalist group to leave the campus.

Prominent figures who previously rallied with the pro-monarchy People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) have signalled their plans to take to the streets again.

Actress Nok Sinjai posted the question “Are you ready?” in her Instagram story on a yellow background with hashtags such as #protectthemonarchy #welovetheroyalinstitution and #welovetheking.

Taya Teepsuwan, wife of Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan, tweeted there are many more people who love the royal institution but they don’t want to come out to demonstrate while the country is in the midst of a crisis.

A social media post of ex-PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban read: “I respect, admire and support those who come out to protect the monarchy in many provinces. I salute them for their great hearts that put nation, religion and the monarchy above all else.”

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