BANGKOK — Activists said they planned to commemorate the upcoming anniversary of the 1932 democratic revolution, though no plans were set in stone so far.
Chulalongkorn University student and campaigner Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal said he intends to hold a public rally on the grounds of his university on June 24, despite warnings from PM Prayut Chan-o-cha that the students should not “cross the line” by insulting the monarchy in their activities.
“I am worried that it might not happen at all,” Netiwit said. “We are concerned about whether the government would interfere.”
Another activist, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, said he was deliberating with his colleagues over the logistics of a possible gathering to mark the anniversary, which falls on next Wednesday.
“June 24th is a watershed moment in Thai history,” Parit said. “It is where absolute monarchy ended and we welcomed democracy.”
The activist, who founded a group called the Student Union of Thailand, compared the 1932 revolution to measures taken to combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“It became the new normal of Thai society. Even though we had periods of dictatorship and military rule, democracy for us, is something we must prevail for, unlike in the past where dictators exercised power over us,” Parit said.
June 24, for many Thais, is a pivotal day that symbolizes the advent of democracy in Thailand. But relics related to the revolution have disappeared in recent years, including a plaque marking the very spot where the revolutionaries declared the end of absolute monarchy.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, PM Prayut said activists should not defame the monarchy in their campaigns.
“Everyone who loves the nation, religion, and monarchy must come together,” Gen. Prayut said.