Protesters install 'new plaque' at Sanam Luang

Protesters install 'new plaque' at Sanam Luang

Crowd prays for 'immortal souls' of 1932 revolution figures prior to ceremony

A protester takes a picture of a new plaque after it was installed at Sanam Luang on Sunday. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
A protester takes a picture of a new plaque after it was installed at Sanam Luang on Sunday. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Pro-democracy protesters on Sunday morning staged a ceremony to install a new plaque at Sanam Luang to declare the people’s power.

The first and original plaque that marked the 1932 Revolution that overthrew the absolute monarchy was planted on the ground of the Royal Plaza. It was removed without explanation in 2017, and no one in authority will say what happened to it.

Lawyer Arnon Nampa, one of the protest leaders, had vowed late Saturday night that a plaque to usher in the era of a “new People’s Party” would be unveiled on Sunday morning.

Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, a leader of the United Front for Thammasat and Demonstration, took the stage at Sanam Luang early in the morning to wake up the demonstrators who had stayed overnight to take part in the ceremony.

Before placing the new plaque, Mr Parit led the protesters to pray for the souls of all of those who sacrificed their lives for democracy. He said the souls of all members of the Khana Ratsadon or group of people who took part in the 1932 Revolution were immortal and they would “protect all of us here”.

The protesters then raised their hands to deliver a three-finger salute, the symbol of the movement, for six seconds.

The demonstrators chose 6.39am as an “auspicious time” to install the new plaque — dubbed  “1932 Revolution Plaque 2.0” by some — on the ground of Sanam Luang. After a brief ceremony, it was embedded in the concrete and cemented in place.

Protest leaders subsequently presented a petition for reform of the monarchy to Pol Lt Gen Papakpon Pongpetra, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau.

Around 9am, Mr Parit declared the rally over, but said demonstrators would gather again outside Parliament on Thursday, the second day of a two-day debate on motions to amend the constitution.


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