BANGKOK (Reuters) - More than 10,000 people joined Thailand’s biggest anti-government protest in years on Sunday.
Following are quotes from some participants and reaction:
TATTEP RUANGPRAPAIKITSEREE, FREE PEOPLE DEMONSTRATION ORGANISER
“I believe many people, including 10 million others at home who couldn’t make it here today, think like us. If the government doesn’t want the protests to grow even more than this, the government and the parliament have to act on our demands!”
KORAWIN THITITHARAWAT, STUDENT, 20
“The junta has been in power for six years and after the elections, they are still here - still lingering onto power. I don’t think that it’s a bad thing for youths to take to the streets, I think we need to try and change things.”
DEPUTY GOVERNMENT SPOKESWOMAN TRAISULEE TRAISORANAKUL
“The prime minister (Prayuth Chan-ocha) would like to thank officials for keeping the peace during the protest. He asked them to show restraint and the use of violence is not permitted.
“There is a policy to support a process to create understanding, bridging the gap between older and younger generations to create love and unity to move and develop the Thai nation together and not leaving anyone behind. General Prayuth has given this policy to the cabinet to proceed with tangible results as soon as possible.”
SUMET TRAKULWOONNOO, A LEADER OF THE ROYALIST GROUP, COORDINATION CENTER OF VOCATIONAL STUDENTS FOR THE PROTECTION OF NATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
“I don’t care if they protest against the government but they cannot touch the monarchy.”
TITIPOL PHAKDEEWANICH, DEAN OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, UBON RATCHATHANI UNIVERSITY
“We are seeing a shift in strategy of the youth-led movement becoming more inclusive, drawing others to join them and many of these people have long waited with their unhappiness with the government.
“They are appealing to a wide range of political issues and show their supporters that political issues are everyday issues and these include economic as well as rights issues.”
PATSALAWALEE TANAKITWIBOONPON, 24, STUDENT ACTIVIST
“For six years people have suffered economically. That’s why we need to uproot the system. We need a constitution that people have a role in writing.”
“We want a new election and new parliament from the people.
“Lastly, our dream is to have a monarchy which is truly under the constitution.”
“TEE”, STUDENT, 20
“I feel like hope is being reignited. I’m happy to see so many people out here. They are not just the new generation, it’s all the generations.”
ANON NOMPA, HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER AND ACTIVIST
“We must have a people’s constitution. The condition set by those in power is to amend only some parts of the constitution. We must not allow this.
“We said we dreamt of a monarchy that coexists with democracy... I would like the monarchy to dream with us as well.
“We will never give up until we achieve our goal.”
THANYARAK SUKSA-RARD, 50, FORMER RED SHIRT PROTESTER
“The students came out a few weeks ago and I want to support them because they mean well for the country. This government is no longer legitimate. They say they want to reform the country but did nothing. We want change.”
STATEMENT FROM SOLIDARITY PROTEST IN TAIPEI
“This demonstration is also an act of solidarity and support for those who believe in freedom, liberty and democracy in Asia. Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, and other Asian countries must form a strong alliance to fight with the authoritarian power under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.”
Reporting by Panu Wongcha-Um, Panarat Thepgumpanat, Juarawee Kittisilpa, Jiraporn Kuhakan; Editing by Frances Kerry
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.