12 July 2024

A group of royalists submitted a petition to Army Chief Gen. Narongpan Jittkaewtae today (Thursday), asking the military to step in to protect the monarchy from threats posed by anti-establishment elements.

The move, by the “Centre of the People for the Protection of Monarchy” follows the planning of a protest, by the anti-establishment Free Youth movement, for this Saturday at the Democracy Monument, after which the protesters intend to march to the Grand Palace.

Mr. Jakkapong Klonkaew, a leader of the group, said that they want all security agencies to protect the monarchy against threats from the anti-monarchy protesters.

The group’s petition letter was received by an army officer, to be passed on to the army chief.

Meanwhile, Dr. Warong Dechgitvigrom, acting leader of the pro-monarchy “Thai Pakdee” party, said in his Facebook post today that he suspects the planners of the August 7th protest might want to spread COVID-19, which he described as “biological weapon”, and then to put the blame on the government and the monarchy.

He said that he understands how royalists feel about the threat to the institution, posed by the protesters, but asked them to wait and not to hold a counter protest under the present circumstances.

The former Democrat MP maintained that he does not mean to ask them to be patient, but to wait until “the situation is right and, at that moment, everything will change and it will not end the way it was.”

In the meantime, Mr. Nanthiwat Samart, former deputy director of the National Intelligence Agency, questioned the motives of the Free Youth movement in urging people to march to the Grand Palace on August 7th, which marks the day, 56 years ago, when the then outlawed Communist Party of Thailand launched its first armed rebellion against the Thai state.

He said that the Grand Palace is the official residence of the King, and houses the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which are highly respected by the Thai people.

Mr. Nanthiwat said that Thai people will not allow the protesters to desecrate the Grand Palace and the authorities will protect this sacred venue.