Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Thursday that he was confused by the government's extreme reaction to Saturday's planned mass rally in Bangkok.
Abhisit, a former prime minister, said the government was over-portraying the rally at the Royal Plaza as being frightening and full of violence.
“I am very confused by the government’s handling of the rally because if the protest is peaceful and without weapons and violence, the government should facilitate it, as the people have a right to demonstrate in a democracy.
The authorities concerned should also ask for cooperation from the protesters and their leader to conduct the rally in line with the law.
But instead they have repeatedly claimed there will be violence and terrible confrontations. Such claims can only lead to unnecessary tensions and conflicts, Abhisit said, adding that he expects to see the government adjust its attitude towards the rally.
The government on Thursday invokes the Internal Security Act in three Bangkok districts for nine days, starting today, in preparation for Saturday’s rally.