Protesters warned they will face prosecution if they offend the Thai Monarchy
Thailand’s Digital Economy and Society Minister, Buddhipongse Punnakan, has warned protesters to refrain from offending the Monarchy, as pro-democracy and royalist groups rallied in front of Parliament this morning (Monday).
While recognizing their right to free expression, he asked the demonstrators in both camps to obey the law and to refrain from doing anything, especially on social media, which could be deemed to offend the Monarchy or be a violation of the rights of others, or they will be dealt with according to the law.
The Minister added, however, that he is optimistic that the rival groups will not clash, despite their opposing views.
A former key member of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), which engineered the mass protests against the administration of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra about six years ago, Mr. Buddhipongse, dismissed allegations that the PDRC is linked to the royalist protesters.
About 200 police, from the Metropolitan Police Bureau, were deployed this morning to prevent any possible violent confrontation between the groups of protesters.
Led by Mr. Anusorn Oonnano, a social science and humanities lecturer at Thammasat University, the pro-democracy group gathered in front of Parliament to support their demand for a new Constitution.
The royalist group, meanwhile, led by retired Lieutenant General and a former PDRC core leader Nanthadet Meksawat, vowed to protect the Monarchy.