Around 2.30 p.m., about 100 people on Thursday joined the student-led protest against the coup at Thammasat University, Tha Prachan campus. After they were not allowed to gather at the square in front of the Faculty of Liberal Arts, the same place where students in 1970s held their protest, they moved to in front of the gate outside the university to hold the gathering.
The student group, Thai Student Center for Democracy, which is a coalition composed of student activist groups from various universities in Bangkok, led the protest and called on the coup makers to release detainees immediately, abolish the martial law and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), and restore civilian power immediately.
Below is the group's statement:
Thai Student Center for Democracy’s Official Statement
As the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), led by General Prayuth Chan-Ocha, Commander of the Royal Thai Army, staged a coup d’état on May 22th, 2014, while pointing out to the necessity to end violence in the country and to create unity. Up to today, the public realizes what the NCPO has done to the country.
It extended the period of nationwide martial law, allowing the military to continue abusing personal rights. Curfew and land border lockdown is also taking toll on the people’s life and the national economic activity.
The NCPO controls the media, forcing them to present to the public what is beneficial to the NCPO. It shut down community radios and websites that spoke against it. Intimidation is also used against dissenting voice, which is casted as an act of instigation and disunity. This is the distortion of facts that should have been presented to the public without distortion, and is an abuse of media freedom.
The NCPO abolished the constitution, dissolved judicial and executive bodies, extended its martial court oversight power, corrupted the rule of law system and the separation of power which guarantees the liberty of the people, and also destroyed the people’s faith in the state, in which the NCPO does not have the legal and democratic legitimacy over.
The NCPO ordered individuals to report to it in order to detain them. These individuals are politicians, academics, members of the press, and even college students. Some were arrested without a warrant, while some were summoned to report to the NCPO or arrested merely because they expressed disapproval against the NCPO. Worse, it has branded those that rallied against it as unpatriotic, saying they work in their self-interest to stir public hate.
Meanwhile, the NCPO is looking for an opportunity to exterminate these people.
The NCPO behaved similarly to the Council for Democratic Reform after the September 19th, 2006 coup d’etat, and also to all previous military junta in the Thai history.
Thai Student Center for Democracy cannot stand seeing these actions repeat themselves. We hereby announce our stance.
1. The NCPO must ceases its operation immediately.
2. The government must serve under the 2007 Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand.
3. The government must revoke the martial law and revive the 2007 Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand.
4. The government and the election commissioners must work together to bring about an election as soon as possible.
5. NCPO detainees must be released immediately
6. This coup d’état must be declared nullified. All NCPO orders must be legally invalidated.
Authoritarianism does not bring democracy to the society. The age of military coup is over. From now on, the people must be allowed to decide for the fate of their country in a democratic way.
Thai Student Center for Democracy
May 29th, 2014.