In a rare get-together, yellow-shirt activist Veera Somkwamkid (right) and red-shirt supporter Sombat Boonngamanong talk to reporters – Photo Thai PBS


BANGKOK – Thailand’s ruling military junta has filed charges against seven democracy activists for calling for elections and an end to military rule.

Deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said on Tuesday that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) filed a complaint with the Pathumwan police station in Bangkok against the seven leaders of the pro-election demonstration on Saturday and police would summon them to acknowledge charges.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said on Tuesday that security authorities were obliged to maintain order, and he would personally take charges of the situation if such demonstrations continue.

Thailand has been under military rule since a 2014 coup ousted an elected government. One of many oppressive laws the junta has imposed is a ban on political gatherings of over five people. Sedition, or illicit efforts to bring about change in the country’s laws, is punishable by up to seven years in prison.

The junta has pushed back several promised election deadlines, and recently indicated that polls intended for 2018 may be delayed.

The Associated Press