11 July 2024

Monarchy reform activists Tantawan Tuatulanon and Natthanon Chaimahabutra have vowed to go on hunger strike in prison and not to continue to seek bail, after the Criminal Court rejected their bail applications, submitted by Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), and agreed to extend their detention.

In Tantawan’s hand-written statement, given to the media after the court’s ruling, the two members of the anti-monarchy Taluwang group also demanded reform of the justice system, adding that no one should be jailed because of a difference of political opinions.

Meanwhile, in parliament, during a debate on an urgent motion from the United Thai Nation party, calling for a revamp of security for Royal motorcades, Deputy Interior Minister Chada Thaised, a member of the Bhumjaithai party, engaged in a heated exchange with Move Forward MP Rangsiman Rome over a picture, presented by the latter,showing Chada among a group of pro-monarchy vocational students.

Rangsiman said that the slide gives the impression that the government is behind pro-monarchy vocational students and is creating an atmosphere of fear, as he asked how the government can increase security for Royal motorcades.

Chada stood up, saying that he had not intended to join the debate today, but he had to defend his reputation, because the slide presented by Rangsima implies that he supportsvocational students who are prone to violence.

He accused Rangsiman of attempting to stoke division in society and claimed that there are elements in the country who are bent on undermining the monarchy.

Chada also accused an assistant of a Move Forward MP of providing financial support to anti-monarchy activist groups, claiming that he is in the process of gathering evidence.

Chada’s accusation prompted Move Forward list-MP Pakornwut Udompipatsakul to challenge the deputy minister to show his evidence, instead of making unsubstantiated accusations.