Supporters of govt to rally Thursday

Supporters of govt to rally Thursday

Right-wing group lambastes students

Anti-government protesters gather at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok on July 18. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Anti-government protesters gather at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok on July 18. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

A right-wing group calling itself Archeewa Chuai Chart will hold a rally on Thursday in what is seen as a bid to support the government in the wake of protests by student activists.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the group criticised the Free Youth group and the Student Union of Thailand which staged an anti-government protest on July 18, demanding the government dissolve parliament, stop using oppressive laws against political opponents and rewrite the constitution.

The student activists said if their demands were not met within two weeks, this would result in an "upgrade" of their activism.

The group claimed there was evidence the student activists used fake news and false information to cause misunderstanding about the monarchy, which had nothing to do with their demands.

The students' actions could actually end up escalating conflicts in the country, the group warned.

The group said its planned rally is intended to give correct information about the monarchy and to expose the real intentions of the anti-government student protests and those who are behind efforts to exploit students.

Deputy Democrat Party leader Nipit Intarasombat, who heads a House committee assigned to studying constitutional amendments, said on Tuesday that the committee has until the middle of September to wrap up its study on charter reform.

Currently, committee members are travelling to the provinces to gather opinions from the public and from demonstrators, Mr Nipit said.

He noted that proposed charter amendments must benefit the public and boost democracy rather than politicians and political parties. He added that the protesters' demands for amendments have already been presented to the panel for consideration.

Mr Nipit also said that the government should not initiate a process to amend the constitution itself because this could be seen to be motivated by self-interest. It should be left to the House of Representatives -- comprised of MPs from various political parties -- to amend the constitution, Mr Nipit said.

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