Royalist group urges Thanathorn expulsion

Royalist group urges Thanathorn expulsion

A group of people from the People’s Centre Protecting the Institution rally in front of the Thai Summit office building on New Phetchaburi Road in Bangkok on Monday. The building is owned by Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit's family. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)
A group of people from the People’s Centre Protecting the Institution rally in front of the Thai Summit office building on New Phetchaburi Road in Bangkok on Monday. The building is owned by Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit's family. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)

A royalist group has rallied outside an office building owned by Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit’s family for the second time in less than a month to "expel" him from the country.

The group, which calls itself the People’s Centre Protecting the Institution, moved from the Southern People’s Association at 11am on Monday to Thai Sumit Building on New Phetchaburi Road in Bangkok.

Led by Jakkapong Klinkaew, the group joined a number of people who had been waiting to join them in front of the building.

According to a statement read by Mr Jakkapong there, Mr Thanathorn, while born in Thailand and holding Thai nationality, has family members who escaped hardships from a foreign country to seek protection from Thai kings and Thailand. Here, they built their fortune, making them one of the country’s leading billionaires.

“However, Mr Thanathorn is not grateful for His Majesty’s mercy. In the latest move, he announced clearly he supported the monarchy reform at the '44 years Oct 6' seminar at Chulalongkorn University.

“This was the first time he dropped all pretence and admitted it openly. He said the institution was an obstacle to democratisation to transform Thailand into a western-style democracy that he looks up to,” he said.

Mr Jakkapong added while Thai society didn’t stop him, a majority of people disagreed, signalling an impending massive disaster. Mr Thanathorn and his network are also stirring up hatred for fundamental cultural values as if nothing in this country is good, he added.

Due to these reasons, Mr Jakkapong continued, his group joined forces to expel this man from the country.

“By expelling, we mean it figuratively. We just want Mr Thanathorn to repent, to contemplate what he has done.”

He also said his group would pay respects to the King at Sanam Luang on Wednesday and would not confront the student protesters who planned a rally there on the same day.

According to the royal kathin schedule published in the Royal Gazette, Her Majesty the Queen will give robes to monks at Wat Ratcha Orasaram and Wat Arun Ratchawararam at 4pm on that day.

HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will also go to Wat Makut Kasatriyaram and Wat Ratchapradit Sathitmahasimarama at the same time. 

Mr Thanathorn was not at the building on Monday. He was reportedly in Udon Thani province as his Progressive Movement was gearing up for local election campaigns, according to Thai media.

Three weeks ago, the same group, albeit with a different name, staged a rally at the Thai Summit building in protest against Mr Thanathorn, who they believed was behind the student rallies seeking the monarchy reform in recent months.  

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