By Thai Newsroom Reporters
STUDENTS AND OTHERS who had intended to demonstrate a public protest against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha were practically kept at bay during his visit to Nakhon Sri Thammarat today (Oct.7).
A number of university and secondary-level students among other people in Nakhon Si Thammarat were strongly discouraged by the provincial police from holding the planned anti-Prayut protest during his official visit to the capital district of the southern province, according to a local activist group named Nakhon Seri Puea Pracha Thipatai (Group of Free City For Democracy).
The activist group alleged on its Facebook page that the Nakhon Si Thammarat police had obviously threatened those protesters, mostly being university and secondary-level students, including a few whom they had met in person and made intimidating inquiries.
The provincial police who had issued a stern warning against the planned protest prior to the premier’s arrival to the southern province by air looked to cordon off anyone suspected as being an anti-Prayut demonstrator at places where he stopped by.
The police had warned them against hurling rotten eggs in the direction of the visiting Prayut, the use of explicit language in the presence of the premier, the torching of any pictures of the premier at public spots and the posting of anti-Prayut content on social media.
As many as 2,000 policemen and army soldiers were reportedly deployed under maximum security measures for the premier who was accompanied by Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda during his two-hour visit to Nakhon Si Thammarat.
The southern province is currently represented at parliament by four Palang Pracharath MPs, including the constituency in its capital district visited by the premier. A dozen of Palang Pracharath MPs mingled with high-level government officials receiving the visitors.
Last week, Prayut was prompted to avoid protesters who had expected him to disembark from a boat at a pier on Chao Phraya River in downtown Nonthaburi where he visited flood victims elsewhere in one of Bangkok’s neighboring provinces. The boat with the premier aboard skipped the Nonthaburi pier and proceeded down the river to one in the capital where he finally disembarked.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha greeted by his supporters in Nakhon Si Thammarat. Photos: Thai Rath