Thai Pro-Democracy Movement Demands New Constitution
The leaders of the movement spoke to the protesters at the front of a prison, from which the court released them earlier during the day.
Lawyer Arnon Nampha and three other leaders told a crowd outside Bangkok Remand Prison that the movement would hold a large demonstration in front of Parliament if a draft constitutional amendment the protesters are seeking is not approved in its next session, scheduled for mid-November.
“When Parliament opens, and if they do not pass the draft amendment of the constitution, we will close Parliament with our own hands,” he said.
Pro-democracy group want resignation of current Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the democratisation of the constitutional laws and the reform of monarchy with the pro-transparency and accountability standards.
Violence is not the answer. We will protest
based on peace, sincerity and humanity
Mr. Arnon stated the protest movement will insist on its three demands, and even if it compromises on the prime minister’s resignation and amending the constitution, it will stick to the third concerning the monarchy.
The protesters believe the monarchy wields too much power, but to royalists it is a untouchable institution that is the heart and soul of the nation. Public criticism of it is unprecedented, and a lese majeste law makes defaming the monarch and his immediate family punishable by up to 15 years’ imprisonment.
The Thai pro-democracy protest movement has generally followed the tenets of nonviolent civil disobedience, a point underlined by Mr. Arnon.
“Violence is not the answer,” he told reporters. “Our opponents will also learn that. We will protest based on peace, sincerity and humanity.”