Activist Arrested Attempting to Petition Prayuth on Plaque

Ekachai Hongkangwan in an undated photo. Photo: Ekachai Hongkangwan

BANGKOK — Police arrested a man Tuesday morning in front of the Government House on his way to petition junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha over the missing 1932 revolution plaque, a colleague of his said.

Ekachai Hongkangwan was reportedly surrounded by police and arrested at about 9:20am and taken to an undisclosed location, according to his colleague, who is president of the For Friends Association, a nonprofit which assists people accused of lese majeste.

“[Ekachai wants] answers from those responsible in the government and clarity on the matter for the people,” Pirayat said. “The military may take him in for talks, warn him and make him agree with them [not to make further moves]. But what wrong did he committed to be taken?”

Read: Former Convict Risks Arrest to Petition Prayuth on Plaque 

Arnon Nampa, a human rights lawyer, said Ekachai had told him he would likely be taken to the Lat Phrao police station if arrested.

Ekachai, a former convict jailed three years for defaming the monarchy, had vowed Monday to deliver the petition demanding Prayuth locate the recent replacement of the historical marker in the nearby Royal Plaza.

The original plaque, dedicated to the bloodless revolt which ended absolute monarchy and ushered in parliamentary democracy, was removed earlier this month and replaced by a similar brass peg bearing royalist inscriptions.

Ekachai vowed Monday to demand Prayuth determine who owned the new plaque, and failing that, said it should be removed.

Authorities had warned Ekachai against carrying out his petition, a warning he ignored, saying he was unafraid of being arrested.

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