Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Thailand's counter-protesters are defending the monarchy and accusing the United States of supporting demonstrators who have called for reform and an end to government harassment.
The conservative protesters who condemn reformers held one of their biggest rallies on Sunday, when they attacked not only domestic rivals but also the United States and international NGOs like Human Rights Watch, Khaosod and Thai news services reported Monday.
"Western powers want us to be divided. They encouraged a mindset that hates the pillars of our country," royalist Hatai "U" Muangboonsri said during the rally.
"These people use social media to destroy the monarchy, to weaken the institution...These are people who have ill intentions toward Thailand. They want Thailand to be weak."
The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok has denied the claims Washington is supporting or funding protesters critical of the Thai government.
"The United States government is not funding or otherwise providing support to any of the protests in Thailand," the embassy said, according to Khaosod. "As friends of Thailand, we encourage all sides to continue to act with respect and restraint and engage in constructive dialogue on how to move the country forward."
During the rally held at Thai-Japan Din Daeng Stadium, a conservative protester claimed the United States "lost their battle front in Hong Kong."
"Foreigners must also be behind those protesters here," said Vethin Chartkul of the right-wing Thai Move Institute.
The demonstrators also may have attacked a janitor at the site who was wearing a red T-shirt. The red shirt is a symbol of Thailand's supporters of past administrations, including former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Thai authorities continue to crack down on the protesters.
The Bangkok Post reported Tuesday a student leading the pro-democracy rallies has been arrested.
Jutatip Sirikhan, 21, president of the Student Union of Thailand, has been charged with breaching internal security and violating coronavirus regulations, according to the report.