CULTURE Minister Ittipol Khunpluem said at 1.30 p.m. today (Sept.22) the Fine Arts Department has been assigned to file a complaint for prosecution with the police against the Thammasat Alliance which over the weekend installed 2020 Khana Rasadorn plaque at Sanam Luang with maximum penalty under Ancient Monuments, Antiques. Objects of Art and National Museums Act 1961 being three years in jail, Thai Rath reported this afternoon.
Their action damaged Thung Phra Men, the official name of Sanam Luang, that was registered as an archaeological site in 1977, he said.
Ittiphol added that legal action was being taken in accordance to what happened with the case to be followed according to the law and the government was not issuing any special policies on this issue.
The government would be following this same procedure with other related cases.
Regarding the missing plaque, the minister said this had been seized by the police as evidence.
When questioned by reporters about an online trend questioning whether taking legal action over the placing the 2020 Khana Rasadorn plaque was discriminatory in light of the removal of Constitution Defence Monument, which stood at Laksi intersection for decades and is a symbol of democracy, in December 2018, Ittiphol replied that officials took action according to the facts each time.
He also mentioned that the Fine Arts Department had already informed Bang Khen police station about the monument going missing and they would have to report to the him if there was any progress but none had been made so far.
Regarding the disappearance of the original plaque commemorating the 1932 revolution that ended absolute monarchy in April 2017, Ittiphol said he did not know anything about this matter.
The protesters putting the 2020 Khana Rasadorn plaque in place, above, and the empty space after police removed it, below. Photos: Thai Rath