Govt to Ask Student Protesters for Views on Charter

About 100 university and school students in Trang city convene at the Mueang Trang Park on March 1, 2020.

BANGKOK — An advisor to PM Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha said Thursday that he will invite some student protesters to air their opinions of amending the constitution.

Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, a Democrat MP who chairs the House Special Committee on Constitution Amendment, said he will reach out to representatives of the ongoing student protest movement, though one student activist said he wanted to wait and see their intention first.

“I want to listen so I can hear something new,’ Pirapan said on Thursday.

Last week saw anti-government protests taking place in at least 40 universities and schools around Thailand, sparked by the dissolution of the popular Future Forward Party.


Asked whether he would comply with Pirapan’s proposal, a student who helped organize a rally at Mahidol University said he will have to consult his friends and see if the government is sincere in its outreach.


“We have to see the situation first, whether they are sincere, whether they want to listen to us, or claim they have listened to us,” Bunkueanun ‘Francis’ Paothong said in an interview.

Bunkueanun said he supports writing a new constitution, but the drafters must be elected by the people; the current charter was drafted by a group of people handpicked by the now-defunct junta.

Student-led protests continued this week, largely outside the capital.

Student protest at Walailak University on March 4, 2020.
Student protest at Walailak University on March 4, 2020.
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Students at Phranakhon Si Ayutthaya Rajabhat University at Ayutthaya protest on March 2, 2020.
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About 300 students from various schools and universities protest on March 1, 2020 at Thet Banthoeng Plaza in Rayong city.