Two groups of protesters gathered, as they said they would, near Government House in Bangkok late Saturday afternoon, to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Led by Mr. Nititorn Lumlua, the “Prachachon Khon Thai” group, converged next to the Prince of Chumphon Shrine, near the foot of Chamaimaruchet Bridge, a short distance from Government House.
Nititorn, a former key member of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, which engineered the mass protests against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s government in 2014, said that his group came today to pay respects to the Prince of Chumphon Shrine. The group then heard speeches for a few hours before dispersing.
“We just want to communicate with the government and don’t want to have any trouble with the police,” said Nititorn adding that, once the other group, “Thai Mai Thon” (Impatient Thais) arrives, led by former red-shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan, his group will leave.
Police, however, used razor-wire to block the road, preventing the protesters from getting too close to Government House.
Nititorn and other speakers took turns to address the small crowd, criticizing the government for its failures in many areas and demanding the prime minister’s resignation. His group ended the protest at about 6pm.
The “Thai Mai Thon” group, led by Jatuporn, first rallied at Pan Fah Bridge before marching towards Government House. Steel barricades were erected by the police at Pan Fah intersection,also to prevent the group from reaching Government House.
Jatuporn told reporters that the “Thai Mai Thon” group just wants to send the message, to Prime Minister Prayut, that he should resign now, due to the government’s gross mismanagement and failures in addressing national problems.
He said his group would disperse by 10pm.
The anti-establishment Ratsadon group did not join the protests of the other two groups.