Military Questions Democracy Activists After ‘Hunger Games’ Salute at Thapae Gate

 | Tue 25 Nov 2014 21:09 ICT

CityNews – Three men who posted a photo on Facebook of themselves giving the three-fingered salute at Thapae Gate have been warned by the military to stay away from politics.
The three men give the three-fingered salute at Thapae Gate. Photo: Prachathai.

The salute, taken from the popular science fiction film series Hunger Games, has been adopted by democracy activists opposed to the military coup in May this year.

Writer Damnai Prathanang, 40, and hotel employee Sinapan Kerdsanong, 31, reported to the Chiang Mai Kawila Military camp at 9am on Sunday, accompanied a lawyer from the group Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, news website Prachathai reported.

They said they made the gesture in support of five Khon Kaen student activists who were arrested for giving the same salute to junta leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha last Wednesday.

Another man, writer and editor Nitipong Samrankong, was arrested by the military on Friday. All three were interrogated and released after signing a document pledging to stop political activities, the report said.

The three men had posted a photo of themselves giving the three-fingered salute at Chiang Mai’s iconic Thapae Gate on Thursday night.

Meanwhile, leaflets inviting students to discuss activities “under martial law” at a meeting today were strewn inside the main building at Chiang Mai University, reports said.

University officials said they didn’t know who was behind the leaflets and no one had applied to hold a meeting there today.

Yesterday afternoon, a student group called the Liberal Assembly of Chiang Mai University for Democracy issued a statement on its Facebook page urging the junta to lift martial law and stop violating human rights, the Bangkok Post reported.

In Chiang Rai on Saturday, anti-coup messages and symbols were painted near an army base the interior minister was scheduled to visit, it added.