Protesters prepare to dig in

Protesters prepare to dig in

Month-long push planned to oust PM

Protesters plan to surround Government House to seek the ouster of the government during the rally on Wednesday. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
Protesters plan to surround Government House to seek the ouster of the government during the rally on Wednesday. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

Protest leader Arnon Nampa on Sunday announced a plan to surround Government House to seek the ouster of the government during the rally on Wednesday.

Mr Arnon, a co-leader of the Khana Ratsadorn (the People's Group), which is the new name of the Free People group, wrote on Facebook that anti-government demonstrators will gather at the Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Avenue on Wednesday before proceeding to Government House.

The name was originally used by the group of military officers and civilians which led the 1932 revolution that culminated in the abolition of absolute monarchy in favour of a constitutional one.

Mr Arnon, a human rights lawyer, said the demonstrators will then set up camp outside Government House to put pressure on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to resign. He invited people from all walks of life to join the rally.

Earlier on Sunday, Mr Arnon appeared at an anti-government gathering in front of Thao Suranaree Monument in Nakhon Ratchasima. He told the gathering the protest group has now secured enough funding to continue the rally for at least one month with supporters already expected to begin a stint of least seven days of campaigning for Gen Prayut to resign.

Mr Arnon said if parliament holds a special session, the protesters will also gather there to pressure MPs to accept a charter amendment bill from the civil sector. Mr Arnon also reiterated the group's demand for the reform of the monarchy.

Senator Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana, chairman of the Senate committee on the protection of the monarchy, yesterday slammed the protest group, saying the behaviour of those who have disrespected the monarchy is deplorable.

Mr Suwaphan said that the monarchy is the kingdom's highest institution which is much revered by Thais.

''But they [protesters] don't care about the feeling of tens of millions of Thais who have had to endure their abusive and offensive content," Mr Suwaphan said.

According to a police source, a meeting of senior officers at the Royal Thai Police instructed officers to avoid the use of force and will set up 21 security checkpoints tomorrow evening to check people for weapons.

The source added that so far the protest leaders had not asked authorities for permission to hold the rally.

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