Thailand’s political movement is heating up again in 2021 after the Criminal Court had denied bail against four pro-democracy activists over Thailand’s lese majeste charges last week. This has resulted in a staged public speaking event titled “Outside-Parliament Censure Debate” tomorrow, February 19th, and another demonstration on Saturday, February 20th, by several groups of pro-democracy activists.
The “Outside-Parliament Censure Debate” will be staged tomorrow at 5:00 P.M. by the pro-democracy creative activists “Mob Fest” in front of the Thai parliament in the Dusit district of the capital, where the censure debate will have been organized for three consecutive days at this point. The event will allow any pro-democracy gatherers to criticize Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O’cha or other cabinet ministers or the full cabinet in the public.
Similar to the no-confidence debate by oppositional parties at the parliament, the topics of the public debate may highlight the alleged tax evasion of the Prime Minister, how the current government has failed to allegedly resolve the national financial wreckage during the Covid-19 Coronavirus, and how the Covid-19 vaccine purchasing has lead to alleged corruption among high-rank senior politicians, according to some protesters.
This Saturday’s protest is planned by the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration (UFTD) following what they say is the government’s negligence of their demand to release four detained prominent activists, namely Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Anon Nampa, Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, and Patiwat Saraiyae. It is claimed to be one of the largest pro-democracy demonstrations being held since the military-junta was staged in 2014 by General Prayut and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).
The movement was announced at the end of another rally last Saturday, February 13th, under the condition that all of their protest leaders must be released within seven days. The government, however, had not yet responded or provided any feedback to their main request as of today.
Although the UFTD has not yet announced the exact place and time of the demonstration, Bangkok police today has ordered about 10,000 riot police to the capital to monitor the situation and to maintain peace and order. The police also have warned that gatherings and rallies are against the current emergency decree in place to control the Covid-19 Coronavirus.
Both events were eyed by both pro-democracy supporters and onlookers as the no-confidence motion reaches the end of the session on Saturday. The gathering atmosphere may become more intense depending on how the ruling government, particularly the 10 accused cabinet ministers, responds to the accusations as it could significantly determine the future of the pro-democracy movement and direction in Thailand.
Today has marked the second day of the censure debate but the government has not yet provided probable clarification upon any accusations to the public and the members of parliament according to protesters. Despite that, members of the oppositional parties, as well as many pro-democracy activists, still believe that the four-day no-confidence motion surely will catch more public attention upon the government’s accused failure but it is unlikely to bring down or prove guilty to the ruling government.