Thai protesters’ plaque removed from near palace: police

BANGKOK (Reuters) – A plaque placed by Thai pro-democracy protesters near the Grand Palace in Bangkok that declared that Thailand belongs to the people and not the king has been removed, police said on Monday.

The place where a plaque placed by Thai pro-democracy protesters near the Grand Palace in Bangkok that declared that Thailand belongs to the people and not the king, is seen after the plaque was removed according to police, in Bangkok, Thailand September 21, 2020. REUTERS/MATTHEW TOSTEVIN

The plaque was placed on Sunday after a weekend rally by tens of thousands of people who cheered calls for reforms to the monarchy of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

“I’ve received a report that the plaque is gone but I don’t know how and I don’t know who did it,” Bangkok’s deputy police chief Piya Tawichai told Reuters.

The plaque is pictured during a mass rally to call for the ouster of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and reforms in the monarchy, near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, Sep 20, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Jorge Silva)
Student leaders install a plaque declaring “This country belongs to the people” near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, Sep 20, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha)

“Police are checking with the BMA (Bangkok Metropolitan Administration) and checking who took it out as the plaque is part of the evidence to charge the protest group (for this wrongdoing),” Piya said.

A group of reporters stand at the place after a plaque placed by Thai pro-democracy protesters near the Grand Palace in Bangkok that declared that Thailand belongs to the people and not the king, was removed according to police, in Bangkok, Thailand September 21, 2020. REUTERS/MATTHEW TOSTEVIN

After the protest, people queued up to take pictures next to the plaque, which also features a hand giving the three-finger salute adopted by pro-democracy protesters.

Protesters have grown ever bolder during two months of demonstrations against Thailand’s palace and military-dominated establishment, breaking a longstanding taboo on criticising the monarchy – which is illegal under lese majeste laws.

REUTERS

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