About 20 people yesterday staged a rally in front of the Matichon newspaper offices to protest against a controversial poem published on the daily's front page on Dec 5, the King's birthday.
About 20 people place a wreath in front of the Matichon newspaper office on Thesaban Narueman road in Chatuchak district yesterday to protest against a controversial poem published on the newspaper’s front page on Dec 5, the King’s birthday. The poem was widely deemed to be offensive to the monarchy, despite a clarification being issued by the publisher. APICHART JINAKUL
The demonstrators also laid a black wreath and called on the author to take responsibility for the piece which drew stinging criticism.
Critics of the poem found the content ambiguous and inappropriate.
The demonstrators dispersed after an hour-long protest without any incident.
Matichon published a statement on Thursday to clarify that the poem did not carry any hidden meaning, and that it was straightforward and in honour of the monarch.
The clarification, however, failed to clear up suspicions about the daily perhaps having an ulterior motive.
Meanwhile, the monarchy protection network yesterday called on the government to take legal action against red-shirt leaders and Pheu Thai MPs for allegedly offending the monarchy.
Led by Thanin Panprapakij, the network members gathered outside Government House to press their demand.
In the petition, they accused red-shirt leaders and Pheu Thai MPs of committing lese majeste offences. Among them were Apiwan Wiriyachai, Korkaew Pikulthong, Jatuporn Prompan, former premier Thaksin Shinawatra and Giles Ungpakorn.
The network used alleged lese majeste video clips shown during the anti-government Pitak Siam rally on Nov 24 as evidence. It demanded the government speed up a probe to find the people in the clips and take legal action against them within 30 days or face drastic action.
Mr Thanin said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's failure to take action was unacceptable. The prime minister was duty bound to protect and uphold the highest institution.
"We will give the government 30 days. If there is no progress we will come back. And we have a knock-out punch," he said.
The petition was accepted by Sompas Nilpan, director of the public service centre under the Office of the Permanent Secretary, the Prime Minister's Office.
Mr Sompas said he would forward the petition to Ms Yingluck yesterday.