Court forces Thai govt to change tactics on protesters: The caretaker government of Thailand says it will abide by Wednesday’s Civil Court ruling that it cannot disperse anti-government protesters, forcing it to adjust its tactics in dealing with the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) demonstrations, according to reports.
The court ruled that the government has the authority to enforce the emergency decree, but not to the point of using force to break up the PDRC’s “peaceful and unarmed” protests.
The court issued a nine-point order to the government, saying it cannot issue orders to disperse protesters, seize products sponsoring protest groups, search or raze rally site structures, stop the buying or selling of products at rally sites, close traffic lanes, make gatherings of over five people illegal, bar people from using transport routes set by protest groups, order protesters not to use facilities in office buildings, or prohibit people from entering or leaving rally sites, according to a Bangkok Post report.
“From now on, our operation will focus more on individuals and those who openly commit offences,” said Paradorn Pattanatabut, secretary-general of the National Security Council (NSC) on Thursday.
“Although we may face some limitations (from the court order), there are other ways we can carry out our operation,” said Lt Gen Paradorn said.
On Thursday the PDRC began rallying in front of Shinawatra Tower 3, to put pressure on the Shinawatra family’s business interests, move that Lt Gen Paradorn said infringed the rights of other people.
Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order director Chalerm Yubamrung said it will petition the Court of Appeal to clarify whether protesters who are armed, occupy government offices, obstruct the traffic flow and surround private firm’s premises are considered a “peaceful rally” as defined by the Civil Court.
“I want to know whether police can arrest and prosecute them, and if such action would violate the court’s order,” said Mr Chalerm. “If the court says no, the CMPO will abide by its order.”
He added that the CMPO had no plans to disperse protest rally sites.