Friday, September 20, 2019

Pheu Thai chief sorry for claims about student parades

Feb 05. 2018
File photo: Phumtham Wechayachai
File photo: Phumtham Wechayachai
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By The Nation

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Pheu Thai’s secretary-general Phumtham Wechayachai on Monday apologised for incidents that may have hurt the feelings of pro-democracy supporters after one of the party’s members called on the government to take legal action against the university students who paraded on Saturday.

Chulalongkorn and Thammasat Universities students held their 72nd football match with traditional satire parades under the theme “Our Rise” – a message calling on people to fight against injustice in society, including corruption, authoritarian rule and the widening income gap.

During the pre-game parade, students followed their tradition of serious fun, using political satire and papier-mache puppets to reference controversial issues, including the scandal over Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan’s large collection of luxury watches and the new charter.

Ruangkrai leekijwattana, from Pheu Thai’s lawyer team, called on the government to take legal action against those involved in the parades, saying their activities may have violated the political gathering ban.

Phumtham offered a public apology over the statement, saying Ruangkrai’s opinion was a personal one that contradicted to the party’s ideology. The party would talk to Ruangkrai and create an understanding, he said.

Phumtham said the parades reflected the students’ views about the country, and they should be supported as an example so citizens will be more aware of political issues and learn how to exercise their rights and freedom.

Any attempts to interfere in the students’ affairs, as reported in the news, violated their rights and freedom, Phumtham said.

Phumtham also called on the government to hold the election this year, as previously announced, and stop suppressing people who exercised their rights and freedom, which were protected under the charter.

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