- Title: Thai PM warns against protests over missing democracy plaque
- Date: 18th April 2017
- Summary: BANGKOK, THAILAND (APRIL 18, 2017) (REUTERS) ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** EXTERIOR OF GOVERNMENT HOUSE THAILAND'S PRIME MINISTER PRAYUTH CHAN-OCHA ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Thai) THAI PRIME MINISTER, PRAYUTH CHAN-OCHA, SAYING: "The calling to return (the missing plaque) doesn't benefit anyone. I want to warn (people) not to do anything to block the country moving forward." PRAYUTH TALKING AT PODIUM (SOUNDBITE) (Thai) THAI PRIME MINISTER, PRAYUTH CHAN-OCHA, SAYING: "People have to know (the law). Having rights and freedom doesn't mean you can do anything. Then you might want to live somewhere that law don't exist. There is no such place." STATUE OF THAI KING RAMA V IN ROYAL PLAZA VARIOUS OF POLICEMEN GUARDING ROYAL PLAZA TRAFFIC ON STREET
- Embargoed: 2nd May 2017 09:28
- Keywords: Thailand politics plaque revolution protests Prayuth Prime Minister
- Location: BANGKOK, THAILAND
- City: BANGKOK, THAILAND
- Country: Thailand
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016CXE345
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on Tuesday (April 18) warned against political activities relating to the mysterious removal of a plaque commemorating a Thai revolution which ended absolute monarchy.
The plaque marked a spot where a crucial stage in the events of 1932 unfolded. The coup was staged by Western-influenced young civilian bureaucrats and army officers to end absolute monarchy and establish a parliamentary system.
It was found to be missing on Friday (April 14) and was replaced by one celebrating the monarchy.
Nobody has claimed responsibility, but the disappearance of the hubcap-sized brass symbol has stirred anger in Thailand, where elections are promised but power is firmly in the hands of the ruling generals and King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
The junta said it had no idea who had removed the plaque, which had been embedded in concrete at a square in Bangkok's leafy historic quarter. It is close to parliament, to a royal throne hall and to an army barracks. The area is also surveyed by several police posts.
Prayuth said security officials and police are investigating, and warned pro-democracy activists against gathering for a symbolic protest as planned on Wednesday (April 19) or they could be charged.
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