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Rally leaders face charges

The pro-democracy, or second Khana Ratsadon plaque, is seen removed less than a day after it was fitted by anti-government protesters at Sanam Luang on Sunday morning. The new plaque was intended to replace an old one commemorating Siam's transition from absolute monarchy to a constitutional one under a democratic system in 1932. Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool

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Two police complaints have been filed against student protest leaders -- which include an accusation of lese majeste -- after the weekend protest at Sanam Luang.

The assistant commissioner of the national police force, Pol Lt Gen Piya Utayo, said one complaint accused the protest leaders of lese majeste. The other is centred around the installation of a pro-democracy plaque at Sanam Luang, or Royal Ground, and the renaming of it as Sanam Ratsadon, or People's Ground.

Tul Sittisomwong, the leader of the so-called "multi-coloured shirts movement" who filed the lese majeste complaint, said the protest leaders had once again crossed the line.



"I don't mind if they talked about politics, the prime minister or the constitution because they have the right to do so, but not about the monarchy," he said.

Pol Lt Gen Piya said several protesters have already been charged.

According to the police, around 10 protesters will be charged with violating the Public Assembly Act, as well as several sections of the Criminal Code, while up to four protest leaders will be charged with lese majeste.



The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and the Fine Arts Department also filed complaints against the rally leaders at Chana Songkhram police station for breaking into Thammasat University grounds and Sanam Luang.





Meanwhile, one of the protest leaders, Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak downplayed the removal of the plaque, saying the movement will simply recast and distribute similar plaques to be planted at public places across the city.

The plaque was confiscated and sent to forensic investigators.




The protesters also announced a plan to hold another rally on Thursday at the parliament building.

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Vocabulary:

break into : enter by using force -

charged (verb): accused officially of committing a crime - ถูกตั้งข้อกล่าวหา

confiscate : to take away - ยึด

cross the line : to go beyond what is allowed or acceptable -

downplay : to make something seem less important or less bad than it really is - แสดงหรืออธิบายถึงสิ่งใดสิ่งหนึ่งโดยแสร้งว่าไม่สำคัญหรือไม่แย่นัก

lese majeste : the crime of offending, threatening or showing disrespect for a member of the royal family - หมิ่นพระบรมเดชานุภาพ

monarchy (noun): the king or queen of a country and their family - ราชวงศ์, พระบรมวงศานุวงศ์

parliament : the group of people who are elected to make and change the laws of a country; the building where members of parliament meet. - รัฐสภา

plaque : a flat piece of metal, stone, wood or plastic with writing on it which is fixed to a wall, door or other object - แผ่นจารึกตัวหนังสือหรือภาพ

rally : a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something - การชุมนุม

so-called : used for saying that a particular word is usually used for referring to someone or something - ที่เป็นที่รู้กัน

violate : to do something that is against the law - ละเมิดกฏหมาย

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