Protesters target Sanam Luang occupation at rally

Protesters target Sanam Luang occupation at rally

Parit "Penguin" Chivarak, a core member of the Free Youth group, on Friday vowed to lead protesters to forcibly occupy the adjacent Sanam Luang when they gather again for a major rally at Thammasat University's Tha Phrachan campus on Sept 19.

In a post on Facebook yesterday, the Thammasat student activist urged interested parties to converge on the university's Tha Phrachan campus on Sept 19 and if the number of demonstrators is large enough, they will move to seize Sanam Luang, located nearby.

He said he and other protest leaders would continue to discus reform of the monarchy at the rally even though bail for human rights lawyer Arnon Nampa and student activist Panupong Jadnok was revoked after the pair broke release conditions by attending political protests.

Other people will take up leading roles in the discussions on this topic from the two at the coming rally, said Mr Parit.

"We now live in an era when everyone, including high school students, is ready to openly discuss the monarchy," wrote Mr Parit in a Facebook post.

Thammasat University, meanwhile, issued guidelines on giving permission for using its campus for political gatherings.

Signed by Thammasat rector Assoc Prof Gasinee Witoonchart, the guidelines comprise three points.

First, the university maintains a basic principle of supporting students expressing their opinions freely, including at political gatherings as long as these activities conform to the law and the constitution.

Second, a formal request to organise a political gathering at the university must be submitted and approved first before any such activity can be held.

Only formal student activity groups are eligible to organise a political gathering on the university's premises, while informal or ad hoc groups are required to be certified by a university adviser.

And finally, students who organise political gatherings are required to sign a written agreement with police or other state officials concerned and the university guaranteeing the content and all other expressions at the rally will be within the scope of the law.

These guidelines were issued and took effect on Thursday.

Meanwhile, rights group Amnesty International has called on the government to withdraw charges against anti-government protesters and asked its own supporters to send letters backing the demand to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

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