NDM to Hold First Political Symposium Since Death of King Bhumibol

New Democracy Movement activists at a June 25, 2015, anti-junta protest at Democracy Monument in Bangkok.

BANGKOK The New Democracy Movement will hold its first political symposium since the death of His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol.

The plan to hold an event Saturday comes after more than 50 days of abstention from political activities by the pro-democracy group and will be a test of political freedom under the military junta in the post-Rama IX era.

Student leader Rangsiman Rome said the group will wait and see how the junta, formally known as the National Council for Peace and Order, responds. Chulalongkorn University granted permission to the group and five others to hold parallel sessions Saturday and Sunday at the Faculty of Political Science.

“I feel that considerable time has passed. It’s been over a month and Saturday happens to be Constitution Day,” Rangsiman said.

The topic will be the junta-sponsored constitution, military coup and judicial system, he said.

The group did not directly inform the junta about the event, but Rangsiman said he believes it must already be aware because the university coordinates with the junta on such matters.

“I think we should be able to hold it. If we can’t, it won’t benefit any party,” Rangsiman said.

Asked if the group has given up on trying to oust the military junta, Rangsiman said no.

“Our goal hasn’t changed. [The New Democracy Movement] was founded to oppose the [junta] because we do not accept the coup. It’s just that we haven’t succeeded yet,” he said.

Other issues that will be organized by other groups as part of the event dubbed “People Go Network Forum” include issues of food security, educational rights, community rights and sustainable development.

Photo: NDM / Facebook
Photo: NDM / Facebook