House panel sits to mull demands
Bhumjaithai Party MP Paradorn Prissananantakul has been appointed chair of a House committee tasked with hearing protesting students' demands, with 45 days given to submit its conclusion to parliament.
The committee met for the first time on Friday to appoint its executives and set a working time frame of around 30-45 days, much shorter than a 90-day period they were given earlier.
Next week, the committee will invite the Royal Thai Police to provide information about cases on political protests and security measures.
Kanawat Chantaralawan from Democrat Party, the committee's spokesperson, said the committee would send its members to observe students' anti-government protests and listen to their opinions, starting this weekend in Sri Sa Ket province.
The committee wanted to talk to the protesters to find solutions and ways to move the country forward without bloodshed and confrontation between people of different groups and generations, Mr Kanawat said.
Meanwhile, a group of Srinakharinwirot University students on Friday staged a small protest on the Skywalk in front of MBK Centre in Bangkok. They held up a white sheet of paper for 10 minutes to symbolise what people have lost since Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha came to power.
The organisers of yesterday's event admitted that they were concerned about some people who come to take part in anti-government protests and tried to prevent disrespectful acts.
Student leaders have said protesting students do not intend to offend the monarchy as accused by a group of pro-monarchy vocational students.
Human rights group, Amnesty International, sent an open letter to national police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda calling for the right to peaceful assembly to be protected.
The group urged police to refrain from "filing criminal complaints against individuals engaging in peaceful protests; guarantee the safety and security of demonstrators; and allow them to exercise their right to demonstrate peacefully".
Amnesty also called on police to withdraw any existing criminal complaints against students and political activists.