Thai PM urges royal convoy debate in ‘protected areas’ after violence

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s prime minister referred to as for dialogue in “protected areas” on Monday over the once-taboo problem of royal household motorcades, after greater than a dozen individuals have been injured in weekend brawls between ultra-royalists and monarchy-reform activists.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin‘s feedback got here amid a public row triggered earlier this month when monarchy-reform activist Tantawan “Tawan” Tuatulanon, 22, did a stay broadcast on her Fb account displaying her arguing with law enforcement officials who have been blocking vehicles for a passing royal motorcade.

The monarchy, which many Thais take into account sacrosanct, is formally above politics and constitutionally enshrined to be held in “revered worship”. Insulting the monarchy carries penalties of as much as 15 years in jail beneath Article 112 of Thailand’s felony code.

A number of native media reported that the automotive Tantawan was driving in, previous to the video, was allegedly honking and making an attempt to overhaul the motorcade carrying Princess Sirindhorn, the sister of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, on an expressway in Bangkok.

The police are contemplating taking authorized motion in opposition to Tantawan and fellow activist over the Feb. 4 motorcade incident, Police Chief Torsak Sukvimol informed reporters on Monday.

Tantawan, who already is going through royal insult costs for beforehand discussing royal motorcade problem, apologising for driving recklessly on Feb. 4 in a Fb put up on Monday, and denied that her automotive was making an attempt to harass or block the royal convoy.

On Saturday, a gaggle of ultra-royalists angered by the motorcade incident clashed with Tantawan and her fellow activists at a skytrain station as they have been planning to carry a press convention in entrance of a shopping center in central Bangkok.

Prime Minister Srettha condemned the violence and urged the activists to hunt to debate the difficulty in “protected areas”.

“Now we have parliament, we have now lecturers, we must always talk about the difficulty in acceptable venues,” he stated. “Not in venues which are confrontational, like malls or public locations, these are inappropriate.”

Srettha additionally burdened that the federal government should prioritise the protection of the royal household and stated he had mentioned the matter with the police chief and different safety officers.

Only a few years in the past, even discussing royal motorcades in public would have been nearly unthinkable.

A youth-led political motion that emerged in 2020 and broke conventional taboos by calling for the reform of the highly effective monarchy has beforehand criticised the blocking of visitors for royal motorcades.

The Thai authorities in late 2020 stated the king was involved and the police had adjusted safety protocols to scale back disruption for the general public.

(Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Panu Wongcha-um; Enhancing by Alex Richardson)


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