Defiant pro-election activists of the Democracy Restoration Group (DRG) demonstrated at the Democracy Monument on Saturday afternoon (Feb 10) to call for an early election as their leaders urged politicians to come out in public to demand the restoration of the people’s sovereign power.
Three companies of police from Chanasongkram, Samranrat and Nang Loeng police stations were deployed around the Democracy Monument to maintain order as barricades and huge tree pots were placed around the monument to prevent the demonstrators from getting into the monument.
Despite arrest warrants issued by Bangkok South Criminal Court against them, three defiant DRG leaders namely Rangsiman Rome, Anon Nampa and Sirawith Serithiwat joined the demonstration and took to the stage to address the demonstrators, calling for an election to be held in November.
They said the demonstrators had three demands: restoration of democracy to the people, end of the junta’s rule and election this year.
Police did not make any attempt to stop or to arrest the trio as they addressed the crowd.
However, the three surrendered to the police after the rally ended at about 7.45pm. The trio were escorted to Pathumwan police station to acknowledge charges for defying Public Assembly Act and NCPO head order 3/2558 and incitement of unrest in accordance with Section 116 of the Criminal Code.
The charges were pressed against them following the Jan 27 demonstration at Pathumwan sky walk to call for early election.
Ekachai Hongkangwan, another demonstration leader, was arrested at his home in Bangkok’s Lat Phrao area earlier this morning.
Human Rights Watch Thailand representative Sunai Phasuk and wellknown political activists who were earlier charged with illegal public gathering also attended the rally as observers. Among them were Sombat Boonngamanong, Netiwit Chotepatpaisarn and Ms Nuttaa Mahattana.