PUBLISHED : 9 Feb 2024 at 04:00
Deputy Interior Minister Chada Thaiset yesterday condemned the actions of student activist Tantawan Tuatulanon and one of her friends for continuously honking a car horn at a royal motorcade on Sunday.
He said the motorcade was not blocking the traffic, and the pair could have opted to use other lanes. Instead, they honked their car horn at the royal convoy. The act is considered deliberate troublemaking, he said.
“Such behaviour was totally inappropriate and will not be tolerated if repeated,” he said.
He viewed it as a disturbing, ungrateful act towards the nation, adding: “Don’t think it’s cool, because it’s definitely not.”
In a clip shared on social media, Ms Tantawan and her male friend honked the car horn at the royal motorcade of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, who was travelling on an expressway in Bangkok.
When approached by a police officer, the pair objected somewhat aggressively.
Pol Maj Gen Somkhuan Phuengsap, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB), said the police have filed a complaint against one of the pair for causing a public disturbance.
He said the incident took place on Sunday when the motorcade was travelling in Din Daeng district. Traffic was not closed off, and the activist’s car was trying to overtake a police vehicle at the end of the motorcade to move inside the convoy, prompting police to deploy a security tactic.
He said the MPB had instructed the police to gather evidence showing the activist had violated her bail conditions so it could be revoked.
Ms Tantawan, 20, has been arrested twice — in February and March 2022 — for allegedly violating the lese majeste law. She has been released on bail.
She staged a 52-day hunger strike early last year to demand the release of 16 people detained pending trial on charges that stemmed from the anti-government protests that began in mid-2020.
Last May, she and eight others were charged with trespassing, destroying public property and obstructing officers at Samranrat police station.