Activists commemorate 1932 revolution

Activists commemorate 1932 revolution

A protester dressed as a 1932 soldier takes part in a demonstration in front of the Democracy Monument in Bangkok on Wednesday, demanding changes to the constitution and marking the 88th anniversary of the 1932 revolt that ended the absolute monarchy in the country. (Photo: Reuters)
A protester dressed as a 1932 soldier takes part in a demonstration in front of the Democracy Monument in Bangkok on Wednesday, demanding changes to the constitution and marking the 88th anniversary of the 1932 revolt that ended the absolute monarchy in the country. (Photo: Reuters)

Political activists from several groups staged peaceful gatherings across the country on Wednesday to mark the anniversary of the 1932 revolt, which ended the absolute monarchy in what was then Siam.

In Bangkok, 30-40 demonstrators gathered at the city's Democracy Monument and played a large-screen video re-enacting the speech made by People's Party leaders after they toppled the government of King Prajadhipok and ushered in Thailand's first government with a constitutional monarchy.

"Eighty-eight years ago today around dawn, the People's Party seized power and changed the system of governance to a democracy," said Anon Nampa. Another protest was planned outside parliament.

 Activists demanded amendments to the current constitution written by the junta that preceded the current coalition government.

"We want to use the revolt anniversary to make our point about the problematic nature of the current constitution drafted by the military," said Anusorn Unno of the Committee Campaigning for a People's Constitution.

Police said they were monitoring protests in at least 12 provinces. Large public gatherings are banned during the coronavirus emergency, but authorities did not block the demonstrations.

In remarks on Tuesday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha  did not directly address the protests, but he told people "don’t violate the monarchy and don’t violate the law."

In Khon Kaen, about 10 students from Khon Kaen University gathered to clean the area around the provincial Democracy Monument.

The students arrived at the monument on Srichan road about 6.30am with brooms and cleaning fluids.

They held aloft cloth banners with messages to remind passers-by of the change which took place 88 years ago.

A number of soldiers, police and local officials, in uniform and plainclothes, were visible in the area, keeping an eye on them. 

A core member of the group, who asked not to be named, said the activity was intended as a symbolic guesture on the anniversary of the June 24, 1932 revolution to remind people of the new generation of the importance of democracy. 


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