Protesters Told To Make Way For HM King Celebration

A group of police officers surrounded a retired military captain who attempted to approach the Government House with his fellow protesters to protest against PM Yingluck Shinawatra, 14 November 2013

(14 November) The authorities have urged the anti-government protesters who are occupying the stretch of Ratchadamnoen Avenue to disperse prior to the celebration of His Majesty the King′s birthday.


The birthday of HM King, which is enshrined as the national day of Thailand, falls on 5 December. Governmental agencies organise large-scale celebration of the auspicious occasion stretching for weeks each year, such as the mass candlelit rally at Sanam Luang and colourful decoration of Ratchadamnoen Avenue.
Pol.Maj.Gen. Anucha Ramayanand, deputy spokesman of Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO), said he has instructed the Bangkok Metropolitan Police to negotiate with the anti-government protesters to make way for the annual celebration which would take place around the Avenue.
"We believe both parties can come to an agreement," said Pol.Maj.Gen. Anucha.
He also estimated that the protesters, who are calling for the resignation of the government, would mobilise for more participants by the end of this week.
Mr. Suthep Thaugsuban, the de facto leader of the protesters who recently resigned as a Democrat MP, has previously promised an "escalation" of his crusade against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on 15 November.
The said escalation will be closely monitored by the authorities, said Lt.Gen. Paradorn Pattanatabutr, the secretary-general of the National Security Council (NSC).
"We believe the tactics of the protesters is to draw the mass from different [political] groups to show their strength on Ratchadamnoen Avenue," Lt.Gen. Paradorn told our correspondent, "However, I believe the situation would be well under our control. And let me insist that the government has no wish to employ violent methods against the protesters".
He added that the protests could drag on till the end of November to coincide with the parliamentary motion of no-confidence. The NSC chief also expressed his belief that the protests are being supported and funded by certain political networks.
"I admit that the security forces are worried by potential third hand party that might cause violence and force the government to be responsible for the losses," said Lt.Gen. Paradorn, insisting that he has received intelligence reports pointing to existing plots.
Nevertheless, he dismissed concerns that the planned mass rallies of the pro-government Redshirts might lead to violent confrontation between the two rival protests.
Meanwhile, Mr. Nuengdin Wimuttinand, a leader of the National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), submitted a letter to Director of Division of Special Investigation (DSI) Tharit Pengdit, asking the DSI to prosecute the leaders of the anti-government protests along with senior members of Democrat Party on charge of "treason".
According to Mr. Nuengdin, the protest leaders? call for a nationwide "civil disobedience" campaign against the government clearly violate Article 116 and 117 of the Criminal Codes, which forbid acts of treason or encouragement of widespread unlawful conducts.
Mr. Suthep, the leader of the protests at Rachadamnoen, has previously encouraged his supporters to go on national strike between 13-15 November, and to refrain from paying taxes. His comments have been much criticised by representatives of the private sectors.

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