Pro-royalists disperse after countering student rally at Democracy Monument

Pro-royalists disperse after countering student rally at Democracy Monument

Pro-royalists gather on Ratchadamneon Avenue near the Democracy Monument before walking to the monument on Sunday. (Photo by Arnun Cholmahatrakul)
Pro-royalists gather on Ratchadamneon Avenue near the Democracy Monument before walking to the monument on Sunday. (Photo by Arnun Cholmahatrakul)

Pro-royalists have ended their rally near the Democracy Monument, leaving some members to observe the student-led demonstrations against the government.

The nationalistic pro-monarchy movement, led by vocational students, dispersed from Ratchadamnoen Avenue around 4pm, but its leaders said some would remain to monitor the anti-government demonstration.

Earlier, about 60 pro-royalist demonstrators, led by vocational students, converged at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok holding national flags and portraits of His Majesty the King and royal family members in an attempt to counter an anti-government rally on the opposite side of Ratchadamnoen Avenue.

"You can propose whatever you want. We can protest against anybody. But we have no right to touch on the monarchy," a leader said.

Pro-royalist leader Sumeth Trakulwoonnu said earlier that it would closely watch speakers at the anti-government protest to see if they attacked the highest institution. Evidence would be recorded for use in complaints to be filed with police if they showed disrespect to the monarchy, he added.

The Free Youth and Free People movements are calling for a House dissolution, a new charter and the end of threats against critics.

After a group of Thammasat students on Monday called for reform of the highest institution, the Free People group issued a statement that it will stick to the three demands.

About 1,000 anti-government protesters were gathering at the monument for what was exected to be one of the largest protests since the government eased restricions.


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