Thais commemorate 9th anniversary of 2006 coup

Anti-coup activists on Saturday commemorated the 2006 military coup, arguably the event which triggered Thailand’s polarized political conflict, amid tight security in central Bangkok.  
 
On 19 September 2006, Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin, then Army Commander, staged a military coup d’état to topple then Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, reasoning that Thaksin was allegedly involved in corruption and nepotism, interfered in independent state agencies and insulted the King. The coup also marked a rise in the number of cases under Article 112 or the lèse majesté law. 
 
The protesters in the afternoon gathered at Thammasat University, Tha Prachan campus, before marching to the Democracy Monument on 4.20 pm. Meanwhile, police officers were deployed around the monument. The march was led by Sirawit Serithiwat, an anti-coup activist and Thammasat graduate student.
 
At press time, there was no report of arrests and clashes. 
 
Earlier on Saturday, the Neo Democracy Movement (NDM) held a seminar called Nine Years of Being Haunted by the 19 Sept Coup at the campus. Before the seminar started, the police tried to interrupt and tell participants that this event could be held because it was an academic forum but the authorities were concerned that it could be seen as a political activity as well, now prohibited under the junta government. The police also asked participants not to march to the Democracy Monument, saying that they could be detained under junta rules.