11 July 2024

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said today (Monday) that he will not stop protesting students from marching to Government House on September 20th, as their leaders intend, but questioned the appropriateness of such an action.

He said, however, that it would be unfair to him if the protesting students were to accuse the Government of harassment if they break the law and authorities take legal action against them for doing so.

The Prime Minister reiterated that he has instructed authorities to ensure the safety of the protesters and to prevent ill-intentioned elements exploiting the protest for political gain.

He went on to say that he will not pressure the Thammasat University administration over their decision to ban or to allow the students to use the Tha Prachan campus for their protest on Saturday.

Meanwhile, six media organizations have announced that they are not parties involved in the current political conflict and, hence, should not be targeted by the opposing elements and should be allowed to perform their duty independently in reporting the on the protests, in accordance with their ethical and professional standards, free from all forms of coercion or pressure.

In a joint statement issued today, the six media organizations urged the protesters and government officials to ensure safety and support for members of the media doing their job at the protest sites.

They also called on the editors of all media outlets to place importance on the safety of their reporters in the field and to provide them with appropriate welfare.

A coordinating centre for the media will be set up, at the office of the Thai Journalists Association, to coordinate security and other necessary operational matters. All the reporters covering the protest will be issued with an identifying arm band.

The media organizations are the Press Council of Thailand, the Thai Journalists Association, the Thai Broadcast Journalists Association, the Council of Broadcast Media Profession of Thailand, the Online News Producers Association and the Thai Media Central Labour Union.