Small group protests in Pathumwan

A half-a-dozen protesters flashed the three-fingered gesture as an anti-coup symbol in front of the Siam Paragon shopping centre in Pathumwan district of Bangkok on Sunday afternoon and then quickly disappeared.

 

The protesters showed up at about 3.30pm and briefly made the three-fingered salute. Security authorities there did not arrest them but took their pictures for subsequent legal action.

Pol Gen Somyot Poompanmoung, a deputy national police chief, said intelligence officials had reported that anti-coup demonstrators were planning to rally in Bangkok at 2.30pm on Sunday but security officers were deployed to prevent them.

Earlier it was reported that about 4,000 soldiers and 2,000 police officers were mobilised for the mission. Pol Gen Somyot said police officers were deployed first while soldiers would function as rapid movement units to reach flash mobs. He also quoted Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, chief of the National Council for Peace and Order, as ordering authorities to handle protesters gently, begin with soft measures before moving to harsher actions, and try to convince demonstrators to take part in discussions.

“I would like to tell demonstrators that the nation is entering a reconciliatory atmosphere. So they must not take any actions that will cause confusion and any rally with any protesting symbol is now illegal. So I do not want demonstrators to do that; otherwise, they will be arrested,” Pol Gen Somyot said.

He added that authorities were monitoring the movements of demonstrators and carefully deploying forces to prevent protests. However, the deployment was designed to protect public feelings, business and tourism.

Pol Gen Somyot also said opponents were developing an understanding with the NCPO through negotiations.

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