Complaint filed over rally

Pro-establishment activist Srisuwan Janya yesterday lodged a police complaint in the capital against former red-shirt leaders Nattawut Saikuar and Sombat Boonngamanong, accusing them of organising a rally on Sunday that resulted in chaos in the country.

The complaint was lodged after pro-democracy activists at the protest wrapped a portion of Bangkok’s Democracy Monument with a black sheet with pictures of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha hanging during the climax of a “car mob” rally that started hours earlier at Asok intersection.

Demonstrators, including those in their vehicles, gathered at the intersection in the capital to mark Sept 19, 2006, the day of a coup that protest leaders say paved the way for Gen Prayut to take power in another takeover of the country in 2014.

In 2006, the military overthrew then-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, forcing him to leave the country. In 2011, his sister Yingluck Shinawatra became prime minister but she was ousted on May 22, 2014, in a coup that marked the beginning of Gen Prayut’s premiership.

Mr Srisuwan, who is secretary-general of the Association for the Protection of the Thai Constitution, said yesterday at Thong Lor police station in Bangkok the rally was organised by Mr Nattawut and Mr Sombat, and actions that took place on Sunday at the monument caused unrest and insecurity in the country.

He accused the ex-political leaders of violating several rules, including the Emergency Decree, Disease Control Act and Traffic Act. The protesters defied the government’s ban on gatherings of more than 10 people, he said.

Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, yesterday said 16 protesters, including four youths, were arrested for possessing firearms-like products and firecrackers.

However, he said they were charged for violating the Emergency Decree and the ban on mass gatherings.

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