Leaders of the Progressive Movement and Ratsadon anti-establishment group joined Myanmar supporters of NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday in a protest, in front of the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok, against the coup in Myanmar.
Myanmar protesters, wearing red headbands featuring the symbol of the NLD and red T-shirts bearing the image of Aung San Suu Kyi, demanded the unconditional release of the NLD leaders and other key members being held by Myanmar’s military since the pre-dawn coup today.
Progressive Movement leaders Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and Pannika Wanich, Ratsadon leaders Parit Chiwarak and Panasaya Sitthijirawattanakul, plus a few members of the Kao Klai party, were spotted among the protesters at the embassy on Sathorn Road.
The Ratsadon group issued a statement condemning the putsch in Myanmar, demanding the unconditional release of all those detained by the military and immediate restoration of democracy.
The group also urged ASEAN to take a stand in supporting democratic rule in the region, in line with the bloc’s charter regarding promotion and protection of human rights, social justice and democratic principles.
Thai anti-riot police were deployed to maintain order and to manage traffic flow on Sathorn Road. Two traffic lanes were closed as they were occupied by the protesters.
At about 5pm, police moved in to disperse the protesters, triggering a scuffle. Drinking water bottles, fire crackers, iron barricades and smoke bombs were thrown at the police, but they managed to clear the road in front of the embassy and the protesters eventually dispersed.
Thailand’s prime minister — a former army chief who seized power in a coup in 2014 — has made no public comments about neighbouring Myanmar’s putsch, though his number two, Prawit Wongsuwan, said the issue was “a domestic affair”.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Tanee Sangrat told reporters Thailand hopes for the “current situation to be resolved peacefully and returned to normalcy soon”.
There are over a million Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand, according to official figures, but the true number is believed to be much higher.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)