Army: No military roadblocks to stop protesters

Army: No military roadblocks to stop protesters

Maj Gen Rachan Prachantasen.
Maj Gen Rachan Prachantasen.

NAKHON RATCHASIMA: There will be no military roadblocks to stop protesters from the Northeast travelling to an anti-government demonstration scheduled for Sept 19 at Thammasat University's Tha Phrachan campus in Bangkok, 2nd Army spokesman Maj Gen Rachan Prachantasen said on Monday.

Maj Gen Rachan said the 2nd Army's intelligence units have closely monitored political movements in the Northeast Region to assess whether the situation could turn violent.

Since the dissolution of the National Council for Peace and Order, the military is no longer responsible for maintaining law and order at various protest venues. Such responsibility is now in the hands of police and administrative officials, he said.

The military would help only when security roadblocks are needed.

As for the planned demonstration on Sept 19, there would definitely be no such roadblocks to stop protesters from the Northeast reaching it, simply because the people have the right to freedom of expression in a democracy, Maj Gen Rachan said.

Protests have been held at different times in various provinces in the Northeast, with groups of people travelling to those provinces to help set up stages for the local protesters.

From the 2nd Army's assessment, some protesters from the Northeast would travel to Bangkok to join the Sept 19 demonstration, but not in large numbers.

Instead, people might hold simultaneous demonstrations in their own provinces, said Maj Gen Rachan.

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