Arnon calls for massive, protracted rally to demand charter changes
published : 28 Sep 2020 at 11:33
writer: Chakkrapan Natanri
KHON KAEN: Democracy activist Arnon Nampha has called for a massive and protracted street rally in mid-October to apply pressure on the government for constitutional amendments.
Mr Arnon, who is a lawyer, made the call in a speech at a rally attended by supporters of several pro-democracy groups at a public park near the city gate, beside the Mitraparp highway, in the Nakhon Khon Kaen Municipality on Sunday night.
The demonstration began about 7pm, with a big police presence,
Other protest leaders also took turns addressing the large crowd.
They included Anusorn Unno, an associate professor at the faculty of sociology and anthropology, Thammasat University, representing a group campaigning for a people's constitution; Rangsiman Rome, a Move Forward Party MP; and human rights activist Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, aka Pai Dao Din.
Mr Rangsiman apologised to people from Khon Kaen who went to the Sept 23-24 rally in Bangkok for being unable to push a constitutional amendment bill through parliament.
"As one of the cabinet members said, the present constitution was designed for them to stay in power a long time, making it difficult or even impossible to amend," he said.
Mr Arnon said he was disappointed not a single bill for constitutional amendment was accepted for consideration by parliament on Sept 24.
The joint sitting of parliament voted instead to stall the process, and set up a committee to review the six bills.
Mr Arnon said: "From mid-October, time will be on our side. The rainy season will end and the cold season will arrive. At that time, there will be a massive rally of the people and the rally will be protracted.
"A massive and protracted rally is the only way for us to press for constitutional amendment," Mr Arnon said.
"We have to do it at this time, otherwise the pressure from the people's sector will lose strength and become ineffective."
He added: "Our hope to see the constitution amended through parliamentary channels has nearly vanished. I think the only way we can do it now is to take to the street.
"We need a large number of people to pressure for change. It's no use talking about a parliamentary process, because senators are not with us. So, a large number of people will be a decisive factor next time."
The rally was peaceful and ended at 9pm.