Update: According to Matichon Online, the military on Monday morning closed off Rajabhakti Park for ‘repairs’ until further notice. Many military personnel are deployed at the park gates.
Military and police officers have detained anti-junta activists on their way to Rakabhakti Park, a royal theme park plagued with corruption scandals, and detached a train carriage to prevent them from travelling further.
According to Resistant Citizen, an anti-junta political group, military and police officers around 10 am on Monday, 7 December 2015, at Ban Pong Train Station in Ratchaburi Province detained at least four anti-junta activists who were on an excursion to Rajabhakti Park.
Among those detained are Anon Nampa, a well-known anti-junta lawyer, who has been charged for defying the junta’s political gathering ban earlier this year, and Sirawit Serithiwat who is also facing a similar charge.
The excursion was organised by Resistant Citizen and several well-known pro-democracy activists to investigate the corruption scandal surrounding the park which was constructed by the Thai military.
After detaining several activists, the authorities decoupled the train carriage carrying the activists and others to prevent them from travelling further to Rakabhakti Park in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, Resistant Citizen reported.
On Saturday, 5 December, military officers attempted to detain Sirawit and bring him to a military base for a discussion ahead of the trip to the park, but he refused, saying that he would visit the park no matter what.
After failing to detain the activist, the officers repeatedly contacted Patnari Charnkij, his mother, on Saturday night and Sunday morning and later summoned her for a brief talk at a military base on Sunday afternoon.
She said that she and her family felt intimidated by the officers, especially when one of them said that “whatever happens, you can’t complain” while they were questioning her via phone on Saturday night.
Sirawit Serithiwat on the train to Rajabhakti Park on 7 December 2015 (courtesy of Resistant Citizen)
Military officers detain Sirawit and other anti-junta activists