Anti-establishment protesters commemorate change to constitutional monarchy on Thursday
Thai anti-establishment protesters, including “Ratsadon” and affiliated groups, gathered at the Democracy Monument early on Thursday, to commemorate the 89th anniversary of the bloodless revolution, which transformed Thailand into a constitutional monarchy.
With a heavy police presence, the group gathered at 4.30am, the time People’s Party revolutionaries declared the end of the absolute monarchy on June 24th, 1932. Today, they held a candlelit vigil, played music and placed their political messages, as well as a replica of the missing plaque, made by the revolutionaries, on the monument.
The small brass memorial plaque, embedded in the tarmac at the Royal Plaza, was found missing in 2017, only to be replaced by a new one, bearing a message about the ‘cheerful people of Siam’.
The Ratsadon group tried to install its own plaque at Sanam Luang in September last year, but the authorities quickly removed it.
The protesters will continue to rally later today in front of the Parliament where constitutional amendment drafts are being deliberated to demand the Opposition’s proposals be accepted.
According to one of the protest leaders, Jatupat “Pai” Boonpattararaksa, the people want to be part of the current constitutional amendment efforts, especially in removing the Senate’s power in selecting a prime minister and ensuring that any section of the charter can be amended.
Both Houses of Parliament convened yesterday, continuing today, to debate and vote on 13 draft constitutional amendments, submitted by political parties from both the government coalition and the opposition. The voting is scheduled to conclude tonight.
Another draft amendment, by the “Re-Solution” group, which seeks to abolish the Senate and all legacies of the 2014 coup,including the 20-year national strategy, is in the process of gathering support. The signatures of a minimum of 50,000 people are required for a public motion to be accepted byParliament.
As many as 30 shipping containers have been placed, by security forces, on the Ratchadamnoen Road, near the Chana Songkhram police station, to prepare for the gathering.