Prayut wants to curb rival gatherings
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has voiced concern that rival political rallies by his supporters and opponents will lead to fresh conflicts, and said he has instructed security authorities to find ways to prevent such activities in the future.
Asked by reporters if such rival rallies will lead to renewed political conflicts, Gen Prayut said he does not want to see divisions among the public.
"People should not be divided according to the group they belong to or along the lines of old and new generations. This will not benefit the country whatsoever. We must find ways to cooperate,'' the prime minister said.
Security officials will discuss measures to deal with similar activities in the future, Gen Prayut said.
"No matter who wants to support or oust me, I don't want anything that will lead to violence to happen again," he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon voiced disapproval at the next anti-Prayut run which is planned for Chiang Mai on Feb 2, warning it will only deepen social divisions.
It would be best to join forces to solve the country's problems rather than holding such activities, Gen Prawit said.
Commenting on a report that the anti-Prayut run in Chiang Mai will be banned, Tanawat Wongchai, the organiser, insisted it will go ahead as planned.
Last Sunday, supporters and opponents of Gen Prayut gathered in large numbers for their respective political rallies.
The anti-regime "Wing Lai Lung" (Run to Oust the Uncle) running event was held at Suan Rot Fai or Vachirabenjatas Park in Bangkok's Chatuchak district.
Meanwhile, people gathered to show support for Gen Prayut at another event called "Dern Cheer Lung" (Walk in Support of Uncle) at Lumpini Park.
Parallel events for "Wing Lai Lung" also took place in several other provinces, including Buri Ram, Phayao, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Pathom, and Nakhon Ratchasima.
Rangsiman Rome, a Future Forward Party MP and spokesman of the House committee on law, justice and human rights, said some participants in the anti-Prayut run in Buri Ram have been summonsed by police to acknowledge charges for violating the public assembly law.
In Nakhon Phanom, police said they were gathering evidence to take legal action against the organisers of the anti-Prayut run in the northeastern province for breaking the same law.
Pol Col Pramote Uthakit, an investigator at Nakhon Phanom police, said rally organisers failed to seek permission in advance to hold the activity from police, as required by law.
Pol Col Pramote said that Phisarn Bupphasiri, one of the organisers, posted on Facebook inviting local people to join the run in Nakhon Phanom municipality, which was held in parallel with the one in Bangkok.