News / Asia

    Thai Coup Leaders Warn Against Making 'Hunger Games' Sign for Political Protest

    Protesters stand and take a photograph on a defaced poster of Thai Army Chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha during an anti-coup demonstration in Bangkok, Thailand, June 1, 2014.
    Protesters stand and take a photograph on a defaced poster of Thai Army Chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha during an anti-coup demonstration in Bangkok, Thailand, June 1, 2014.
    VOA News
    Thailand's military is threatening to arrest those using a three-fingered salute from "The Hunger Games" movies to express opposition to last month's coup.

    Coup leaders have severely restricted freedom of expression and enforced a ban on gatherings of more than five people since taking power on May 22.

    As a quiet symbol of defiance, many coup opponents have begun holding up three fingers, which in "The Hunger Games" symbolizes resistance against totalitarian rule.

    An army spokesman said authorities are "monitoring" the campaign, warning those who flash the sign could face arrest if they do so in groups of more than five people.

    Small demonstrations have persisted in the capital since army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha seized power, though there have been only small-scale clashes.
    • Protesters against military rule gesture by holding up their three middle fingers in the air, during a brief demonstration at a shopping mall in Bangkok, June 1, 2014.
    • A protester against military rule gestures by holding up his three middle fingers in the air, as soldiers look on from an elevated walkway, during a brief demonstration outside a shopping mall in Bangkok, June 1, 2014.
    • A masked demonstrator gestures during a brief protest against military rule at a shopping mall in Bangkok, June 1, 2014.
    • Anti-coup protesters wear paper bags with messages written on them as they flash a three-finger sign during a protest at a shopping mall in Bangkok, June 1, 2014.

    On Sunday, Thailand sent nearly 6,000 troops into the streets of Bangkok in a show of force against protesters who had planned major demonstrations.

    Last week, General Prayuth said it would be up to 15 months before elections would be held and a new constitution set to replace the one he invalidated.

    Prayuth said the coup was necessary to prevent violence and help advance reconciliation efforts following months of protests that saw nearly 30 people killed.

    On Tuesday, the army said it has relaxed a curfew at the major tourist resorts of Pattaya, Koh Samui and Phuket. But a midnight to 4:00 am curfew remains for the rest of the country.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: free from: bangkok
    June 05, 2014 11:44 AM
    Now in Thailand .If you raise 3 fingers I 'll be in jail.

    by: JohnQSmithofAnytownUSA from: 90046
    June 03, 2014 5:25 PM
    So scared of their own people that they're cracking down on raising three fingers?

    Perhaps the Thai military leadership should read the third book.

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