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Jakarta Post

Indonesians safe amid mass protests in Bangkok: Foreign Ministry

  • Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, October 17, 2020   /   03:29 pm
Indonesians safe amid mass protests in Bangkok: Foreign Ministry Detained protesters look out from a prison vehicle during the 47th anniversary of the 1973 student uprising, in Bangkok on Thursday. (Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun)

The Foreign Ministry has reported that all Indonesian citizens living in Bangkok are safe amid the mass antigovernment protests that have seen thousands of people take to the capital’s streets to oppose a recently issued demonstration ban.

“At present, our citizens in Thailand are in good condition,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.

“The ministry estimates that there are currently around 1,400 Indonesian nationals living in Bangkok, among the approximately 3,000 residing in Thailand,” he said.

He added that the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok would continue communicating with Indonesian nationals through diaspora networks and student unions and would also open a hotline.

“The Indonesian Embassy periodically reminds Indonesian citizens through the website and social media to avoid crowded locations for their health and safety,” Teuku added.

Reuters reported on Thursday that tens of thousands of Thai protesters had gathered in central Bangkok in an act of mass defiance against the recently enforced ban on demonstrations, which forbids political gatherings of more than five people.

The protesters reportedly defied orders to disperse from the police, who estimated the protesters to number 10,000.

The emergency order to ban demonstrations was imposed after a motorcade carrying Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana, the wife of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, was interrupted on Wednesday.

Read also: Thai protest brought forward over disruption fears

Thai police said Friday that two men, Bunkueanun “Francis” Paothong and Ekachai Hongkangwan, would be charged with attempted violence against the queen, which could result in death sentences, as reported by Reuters.

Prior to the motorcade incident, the wave of antigovernment protests the country has witnessed for around the past three months has been largely peaceful.

The protesters are demanding reforms to the monarchy lead by King Maha Vajiralongkorn, including curbing his powers over the constitution, the royal fortune and the armed forces, and are also calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former junta leader.