City police 'ready' for rallies
Thursday demos to mark events of 1932
The Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) is ready for rallies planned by pro-democracy groups on Thursday to mark the 89th anniversary of the June 24, 1932 revolution by the Khana Ratsadon that transformed Thailand from an absolute to a constitutional monarchy.
MPB deputy commissioner Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai said on Monday that four groups were expected to demonstrate on Thursday.
The "Mu Ban Thalufa" group planned a gathering at the October 14 memorial on Ratchadamnoen Avenue, starting at 1pm.
The "Prachachon Khon Thai" group, led by Nitithorn Lamlua, planned to rally at Government House from noon, calling on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to resign.
The "New Generation of Democratic People of Nonthaburi" group intended to rally at Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Avenue, starting at 11am.
The fourth group, "Samakkhi Prachachon" led by Jatuporn Prompan, leader of the former United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, also planned to rally in front of Government House, he said. He did not mention the time.
Pol Maj Gen Piya that Bangkok was still under the executive decree that prohibits gatherings of crowds during the Covid-19 situation. If the decree was violated, rally organisers would face legal action.
He said those joining the planed protests should be mindful of the fact that Bangkok was still reporting daily Covid-19 infections.
"Those taking part in the protests should avoid gathering in large numbers. They might benefit from the political protests but the country as a whole will suffer from their action.
"They should consider staging the rallies after the pandemic has subsided," said Pol Maj Gen Piya.
He said Pol Lt Gen Pakapong Pongpetra, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, held a meeting with city police with jurisdiction over the planned protest venues to prepare manpower for the rallies. The police will be deployed to guard important landmarks.
Pol Maj Gen Piya said the police have received no intelligence reports about any groups plotting to incite unrest on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Pol Col Kissana Phathanacharoen, deputy police spokesman, said that since July 2020 a total of 150 people have been arrested on charges in connection with political rallies. They included people who instigated illegal gatherings over social media.
The deputy spokesman said that on Thursday protests might also take place in the provinces.