THE PROTEST march from Nakhon Ratchasima reached the Democracy Monument at 3.35 p.m. today (March 7) and were to kick off their activities there from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. despite a stern warning from police that participants face maximum two-year jail term and/or 40,000 baht fine for violating the emergency decree and other related laws, Siam Rath newspaper said.
The protesters had trekked a distance of 247.5 kilometres for 17 days to reach the monument where they are holding the activities on the last day.
Led by Mr. Jarupat Boonpattararaksa, or Phai Dao Din, the protesters are making four demands – amend the constitution, release their friends, repeal Section 112 of the Criminal Code, known as the lese majeste law, and that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha resign.
However at 4 p.m. Pol Col Thosaphon Amphaipipatkul, from Samranrat station, and Pol. Col. Samran Saengmanee, from Chana Songkhram station, came to the gathering and read out an announcement that their rally is illegal as it violates Section 9 of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations, B.E. 2548 (No. 15), Item 3, and Prime Minister’s Order No. 4/2563 dated March 25, 2020 regarding appointment of operational supervisors, responsible chiefs and competent officials and resolving emergency situations Article 3 (6) and related announcements.
They warned that the protesters would face maximum two -year imprisonment and/or 40,000 baht fine.
The Nakhon Ratchasima protesters arriving at the Democracy Monument. Photos: Siam Rath