Police threaten to prosecute authors of seized letters to king

Protesters push makeshift mailboxes bearing the palace’s postal code Sunday from the Democracy Monument to the Grand Palace. The march culminated in thousands of protesters submitting letters addressed to King Vajiralongkorn. Photo: Coconuts
Protesters push makeshift mailboxes bearing the palace’s postal code Sunday from the Democracy Monument to the Grand Palace. The march culminated in thousands of protesters submitting letters addressed to King Vajiralongkorn. Photo: Coconuts

Police said they are examining letters submitted by pro-democracy campaigners to King Vajiralongkorn and vowed to prosecute anyone whose messages “violated the law.”

Maj. Gen. Piya Tawichai, deputy metro police commander, said yesterday they will carefully inspect the contents of four mailboxes containing letters addressed to King Vajiralongkorn that the police hauled off rather than deliver to the palace. The red mailboxes and letters have been at the Chanasongkram Police Station since Sunday night, when thousands of protesters marched from the Democracy Monument to the Grand Palace to deliver their letters to the king. 

Piya said they would file charges over letters found to “violate any laws,” most likely referring to the lese majeste law which punishes royal insult by up to 15 years in prison.

The number of letters was unclear, and many were submitted anonymously. 

A joint letter submitted by protest organizer Free Youth demanded, in English and Thai, that the king consent to reforming of monarchy and return absolute power to the people.

“When the king truly cherishes democracy, all people will find happiness. The three demands from the people are the utmost compromise,” read the statement, referring to King Vajiralongkorn’s comment last week that Thailand was “the land of compromise.”

Chanasongkram police chief Worasak Pisitthanabankorn said the authorities were also gathering evidence to press charges against protest leaders and organizers who did not notify police of their plans. At about 6:30pm, when marchers arrived near the destination, police fired water cannons at the crowd for the first time since Oct. 16. Shortly afterward, an officer apologized over a loudspeaker, telling protesters they were “sorry.”

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Protesters to march on palace Sunday with ‘letters for the king’

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