Military academy support for princess after motorcade incident

Military academy support for princess after motorcade incident

Soldiers parade before Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn during a farewell ceremony on her retirement as a teacher and special commander at the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy in Nakhon Nayok in 2015. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Soldiers parade before Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn during a farewell ceremony on her retirement as a teacher and special commander at the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy in Nakhon Nayok in 2015. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy planned a show of support for Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn at its auditorium in Nakhon Nayok province on Monday afternoon, in the wake of the royal motorcade "honking" offence last week.

The princess was a lecturer and special commander at the academy. She retired in 2015.

The show of support is in response to an incident on Feb 4, when Tantawan Tuatulanon and a colleague from the Thalu Wang (breaking into palace) group allegedly attempted to interrupt the princess's motorcade on an expressway in Bangkok, honking their car horn and trying to cut into the middle of it.

Ms Tantawan was arrested on March 5, 2022 on charges of violating Section 112 (the lese majeste law) of the Criminal Code for running an opinion poll on Facebook on royal motorcades on Feb 8, 2022, and making a live broadcast on the topic on March 5. Some key figures of the group also face charges under Section 112.

On Feb 8, 2022, she also led an activity in front of Siam Paragon shopping mall, seeking people's opinions on the subject, which resulted in Ms Tantawan being charged with defaming the monarchy.

Last Saturday, Ms Tantawan and her group again conducted the same poll, asking people whether royal motorcades created trouble, at Siam BTS station in front of Siam Paragon Shopping Mall. Her supporters showed up and so did a royalist group calling itself Thai People Protecting the Monarchy.

Shortly after the Thalu Wang group and Ms Tantawan gathered on the skywalk to conduct the poll, a violent brawl erupted.

On Sunday Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin wrote that he ordered police to be serious about ensuring the safety of VIPs.

"The government is duty-bound to protect and maintain the dignity of the institution. I believe that we, Thai people, share the same stance on this matter," he wrote.

Minister of Social Development and Human Security Varawut Silpa-archa, the Chartthaipattana Party leader, said on Monday that he supported a move for the House to immediately discuss the protection of royal motorcades.

Similar protection was standard and serious in all countries, including the United States, he said.

Royal projects led to national development and protection for royalty and Thailand's most revered people was most important, Mr Varawut said.

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