Thai protest leaders to demonstrate against Myanmar coup, see solidarity against military regimes

Thai protest leaders on Monday condemned the Myanmar’s military for the coup there and demanded the immediate release of all political prisoners.

Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, a co-founder of Ratsadon, told Thai Enquirer that the main student-led pro-democracy protest group in Thailand will join a protest in front of the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok to read out their statements to the Myanmar’s generals.

“We strongly condemn the coup in Myanmar,” she said.

“We also demand for the Myanmar’s military to immediate release all political prisoners and put to rest any attempt to change the result of the previous election,” she added. The military have declared fraudulent the election in November, which gave Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) enough seats to govern.

Panusaya said no one can find freedoms if they are under control of a military dictatorship and the Thai people truly understand how it feel.

The Burmese people also understand what it would be like to be ruled by such regime again so the Thai pro-democracy leaders from Ratsadon will stand with the Myanmar people who are seeking for democracy as well, she added.

She also said she wants to see what the Thai government will say about the situation in Myanmar as it has remained silent so far.

The comment by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan’s earlier Monday that the situation in Myanmar was “an internal matter” was shameful, she said.

“This is not just an internal matter but this is a matter of international relationship as well and the Thai government should pay attention to this situation,” she said.

“However, we cannot hope for much [criticism from the administration] since the Prayut government also came into power via a coup,” she added.

Prawit and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha took power in Thailand in a 2014 coup. Junta-appointed senators later backed Prayut to become the current premier while Prawit is the current leader of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party.

Piyarat “Toto” Chongthep, the leader of WeVo, a group of volunteer guards at pro-democracy protest sites who first called for the protest in front of the Myanmar embassy on Monday, told Thai Enquirer said they plan to read out a statement to condemn the coup in Myanmar.

He said the statement will be read out in Thai, English and Burmese.

“We want the Myanmar generals to immediately release the political prisoners who have been captured and to allow for the democratic system to be restored in the country,” he said.

“We are not going to officially hand in an open letter and we choose to read it out because we do not want to legitimize or recognize the current administration that was appointed by the military,” he added.  

Piyarat said a coup is not acceptable by the international community and it should no longer happen anywhere in the world.  

He added that the reason why the Prayut administration is still silent about the issue is because they know exactly how they came into power and their lack of comment is “as expected”.

Tatthep “Ford” Ruangprapaikitseri, the leader of Free Youth, said a tyrant regime is like a “vicious cancerous cell” that plagues the ASEAN’s region.

“A coup is a mechanism that allow this system to continue to exist and it is a tool for people in power to continue to hold onto their power,” he said.

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