Arrested anti-coup protesters face 'attitude adjustment'

national June 09, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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A MAN AND A WOMAN arrested at a Bangkok mall yesterday for protesting against the coup will undergo a process to “have their attitude adjusted”, said deputy national police chief General Somyos Phumpanmuang.
The pair, who come from Chon Buri and Samut Prakan, had got news about anti-coup activities from social media, Somyos said.
He said police had been unable to convince them to change their attitude because “the chip was implanted too deep in their brain”.
Three police and military companies were dispatched to nine spots at BTS train stations after officials were tipped off that anti-coup protesters would stage protests.
Five coup opponents turned up at Siam Paragon and waved three fingers in a symbolic gesture of defiance before dispersing.
Somyos said intelligence officials were informed that protesters would turn up to stage a protest at Victory Monument, Siam Paragon, Suvarnabhumi Airport, the McDonald restaurant in Amarin Plaza and Wat Phra Kaew. Apart from Siam Paragon, no protesters were sighted. 
Two armoured cars were parked at Victory Monument and songs celebrating national unity and sacrifice were blared from loud speakers. Traffic flowed normally.
Uniformed police were deployed to skywalks at BTS stations from National Stadium to Chidlom. Passengers were not searched.
A group of students had asked National Council for Peace and Order permission to use an area at Victory Monument to carry out activities in support of the NCPO, Army Colonel Sombat Thanyawan said.
Sombat said they would be given the nod because their activities would not cause division but were meant for national reconciliation.
He said with martial law in force, people staging anti-coup protests would face legal action. Plainclothes police had been deployed to closely monitor anti-coup protests. 
He called on protesters to co-operate with the NCPO to restore peace and order, saying the council might provide the protesters with a stage to air their opinions under the condition they stop their rallies. 
At Thammasat University, some protesters yesterday ate sandwiches in a symbolic gesture to oppose the military power seizure instead of holding up placards or showing three fingers. The protesters mocked the NCPO by eating sandwiches after the ruling body banned business operators from allowing protesters to use their premises to stage anti-coup protests. 
One red-shirt group had often used a particular McDonald’s restaurant.
On Friday, a group of anti-coup students were instructed to disperse while carrying out anti-coup activities such as watching coup movies, reading poems and eating sandwiches in front of Kasetsart University.
About 100 police and military officials entered the university and asked the students to stop their activities immediately. The students asked to be allowed to finish their sandwiches, but were not allowed to.

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