Students submit manifesto
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Students submit manifesto

Panel to hear calls for monarchy reform

Activist Panasaya Sitthijirawattanakul with the document she submitted. (Photo by   Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Activist Panasaya Sitthijirawattanakul with the document she submitted. (Photo by   Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Student leaders from the Free Youth Group on Wednesday submitted their 10-point manifesto on reforming the monarchy to a House committee on politics for consideration.

Panasaya Sitthijirawattanakul, a leader of the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration, forwarded the 10-point manifesto compiled at a demonstration on Aug 10 at Thammasat University to Move Forward Party MP Padipat Suntiphada who is the chairman of the House Committee on Political Development, Mass Communications and Public Participation.

Mr Padipat said the committee had invited four students' groups to a meeting yesterday and listened to their opinions on political issues such as the proposed charter rewrite and the establishment of a constitution drafting assembly.

The groups included the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration, the Free Youth group and a pro-monarchy group of vocational students.

The committee chairman urged all sides to listen to students' opinions without bias.

"Even though we may not agree with them, we must listen to their reasons with respect," he said.

Ms Panasaya said the group wanted to reform the monarchy and the government should consider their 10 demands.

Meanwhile, two leaders of the Free Youth group -- identified as Ford Thatthep and James Panumas -- were arrested and taken to Samranrat station yesterday on seven charges including sedition. They were later taken to the Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Road to be detained.

Police have issued arrest warrants for 15 leaders of an anti-government protest on July 18 at the Democracy Monument. Thirteen of them have been arrested. Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner Pol Lt Gen Phukphong Phongpetra said police were gathering evidence to see if protesters at another rally on Aug 16 in Bangkok breached public gathering regulations. If the protesters were found to have violated the law, police will issue warrants to summon them.

In another protest in Bangkok which took place on July 20 in front of the army headquarters on Ratchadamnoen Road, Arnon Nampa, Suwanna Tanlek, Parit Chiwarak and Piyarat Jongthep earlier presented themselves at Nang Loeng station to acknowledge charges they faced.

The charges include sedition, illegally accessing computer system data related to national security, violating the Emergency Decree and Communicable Disease Act and using loudspeakers to promote their cause without permission.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha issued his most stern warning yet to protesters seeking his resignation, saying they were driving deeper divisions that could cause the collapse of the country.

"If we want to overcome each other politically, the nation will collapse," Gen Prayut said. "If that happens, just wait -- everybody will be on fiery land, engulfed in flames."

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