Rally goes to army HQ after offensive post

Rally goes to army HQ after offensive post

Parit Chiwarak speaks on a stage set up outside the Royal Thai Army headquarters on Monday. (Reuters photo)
Parit Chiwarak speaks on a stage set up outside the Royal Thai Army headquarters on Monday. (Reuters photo)

A small group of activists held a rally outside the Royal Thai Army headquarters on Monday in protest against a comment made by its former deputy spokeswoman.

The activists, who joined the Free Youth group's protest at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok on Saturday, rallied outside the main gate of the army headquaters on Ratchadamnoen Avenue. Their target was Col Nusra Vorapatratorn, who made a controversial remark on Facebook about Saturday's rally.

In the post, the former deputy army spokeswoman described the anti-government protesters as a "mung ming" mob, a modern slang term used to describe a young person who is innocent, naive and by implication, ignorant. She also wrote their time would be better spent making a living instead of taking to the streets. She later removed the post, but not before someone had captured it as a screenshot and shared it in social media.

Her post drew criticism from the protesters, who vowed to rally against her at the army head office.

The demonstration on Saturday, largely oganised by the Student Union of Thailand and the Free Youth group, demanded Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha dissolve the House, stop intimidating critics and start writing a new charter.

The army on Monday distanced itself from the colonel, saying the post was her opinion and not the position of the army, according to army spokesman Col Winthai Suvaree.

Col Nusra now serves at the Directorate of Operations.

The rally in Bangkok on Saturday, which drew about a thousand protesters, spread to Chiang Mai and Ubon Ratchathani on Sunday.

The students plan another rally to oust Gen Prayut at Mahasarakham University on Tuesday. Activists and students in other provinces also plan similar gatherings.

The army on Monday was also attacked for its plan to purchase a Gulfsteam jet worth 1.3 billion baht for generals and VIPs to replace its 30-year-old aircraft. The plan still needs cabinet approval.


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