Submitted on Wed, 16 May 2018 - 06:52 PM
The Bangkok police have asked a pro-democracy activist to seek permission from the junta to host a symbolic activity to commemorate the 2010 crackdown on the red shirts.
On 15 May 2018, Sombat Boonngamanong, a pro-democracy activist and the leader of the Grin Party, posted on Facebook that Lumpini Police Station had rejected his request to hold an assembly at Ratchaprasong intersection on 19 May, the eighth anniversary of the 2010 crackdown on red-shirt protesters.
To commemorate the crackdown, Sombat planned to host a symbolic activity at a McDonald’s near the intersection where the incident took place. In his request, he told the police that over 30,001 people were expected to join.
The police on Tuesday rejected his request, saying that the number of participants was so high that they could obstruct public transportation. The authorities added that any commemoration of the 2010 crackdown would constitute a political activity and violate the Head of National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Order 3/2015, the junta’s ban on public gatherings of five people or more.
The police then asked Sombat to re-submit his request with an adjusted number of participants and get permission from the NCPO.
One day later, Sombat re-submitted the request. He reduced the number of participants into three: Nuttha Mahatanan, a prominent pro-election activist; Kittichai Ngamchaipisit, a co-founder of the Commoners Party; and Sombat himself. He added that he had also invited Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the key leader of the Future Forward Party, but he was not free.
He told the media that he had not asked for permission from the NCPO since he thought that a public gathering of just three people might not violate the NCPO order.
From March to May 2010, the Abhisit government launched armed military operations with the goal of seizing the red-shirt protest sites in Bangkok. 19 May marked the end of the crackdown after the red-shirt leaders surrendered to the police. Many civilians were shot dead by high-velocity bullets, and total death toll of the nearly three-month-long operation is 98. Nearly 70 were slain at Ratchaprasong intersection.
The poster of Sombat's event (Photo from his Facebook)