Pinocchio protest aimed at government
The junta has threatened to take action against pro-election protesters who last Saturday mocked Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha by depicting him as Pinocchio.
Young activists from Democracy Restoration and Start Up People demanded that an election be held this year during a demonstration at Thammasat University’s Tha Prachan campus. Several wore paper masks dubbed “Yutnocchio” – a likeness of Prayut with an elongated nose evoking Pinocchio, the fictional boy-puppet whose nose grew in length every time he lied.
The demonstrators were mocking Prayut as unreliable, having failed to keep his promise of an election in November this year. National Council for Peace and Order spokesman Piyapong Klinpan on Thursday said it was inappropriate to “ridicule the leader because he is a phu yai [senior figure] of the country”. “They should quit imagining things,” Piyapong said, warning that the junta would take action that would “gradually” move from soft to severe. He said Thammasat University should consider the protest’s suitability and noted that the junta has been keeping a close eye on the movement. The group plans another rally on March 10, though the location has not yet been announced.