Nearly 6,000 cops will await protesters tomorrow outside the agency once responsible for managing the king’s considerable wealth.
Workers have been spotted erecting signs designating the area targeted for tomorrow’s rally at the Crown Property Bureau as royal grounds and therefore off-limits, while national police spokesperson Yingyot Thepchamnong today said they were anxious about the rally because of the venue’s “sensitivity and importance.”
He said that they will be ready to look after the protesters and prevent any clashes with royalist counter-protesters. The spokesman said the force has learned lessons on how to avoid conflict.
The protesters are seeking to further encroach upon territory once forbidden by taboo with perhaps their most provocative move yet by calling attention to the wealth of King Vajiralongkorn, who’s considered the world’s wealthiest monarch with a net worth estimated at US$30 billion to $40 billion. After he ascended to the throne, he transferred all of the bureau’s holdings to his personal control.
Bangkok Metropolitan Police Headquarters is reportedly preparing 5,850 policemen to provide security at the rally at the bureau’s offices in Dusit district.
Last week, dozens were injured in clashes with police, who made frequent use of chemical-laced water canons and tear gas outside the parliament house where charter amendments were being debated. Though six protesters were shot by an unidentified assailant, a police investigation has made little progress.
A day later on Thursday, protesters gathered to splash paint and graffiti at police headquarters in downtown in response.