Thailand: Thousands Protest In Bangkok Demanding Government's Resignation

Chanting “down with dictatorship” and “the country belongs to the people”, thousands of demonstrators joined the anti-government protests, which was one of the biggest since a 2014 coup.

India   |   17 Aug 2020 9:29 AM GMT
Writer : Reethu Ravi | Editor : Prateek Gautam | Creatives : Abhishek M
Thailand: Thousands Protest In Bangkok Demanding Governments Resignation

Over 10,000 protesters gathered in Thailand's capital Bangkok on Sunday, August 16, demanding political reforms, the resignation of the government, and an end to the harassment of opposition activists.

Chanting "down with dictatorship" and "the country belongs to the people", thousands of demonstrators joined the anti-government protests, which was one of the biggest since a 2014 coup.

For the past month, students have been organising protests almost daily. Sunday's protests saw wider support, with protesters demanding the departure of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former military government leader who won disputed elections last year.

Some demonstrators have also demanded reform of the monarchy - a sensitive subject in Thailand. According to the organisers of the Free People movement and police, over 10,000 took part in the protest. As many as 600 police officers were monitoring the protests.

"We want a new election and a new parliament from the people. Lastly, our dream is to have a monarchy which is truly under the constitution," student activist Patsalawalee Tanakitwiboonpon, 24, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

After the military seized power in 2014, elections happened for the first time last year, in which Prayuth was elected.

"I don't care if they protest against the government, but they cannot touch the monarchy. We are here to observe the other protest, whether they offend the monarchy or not, and will take legal action if they do," Sumet Trakulwoonnoo, a leader of the royalist group, Coordination Center of Vocational Students for the Protection of National Institutions (CVPI) was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera.

In February, the latest wave of protests began after the pro-democracy Future Forward Party (FFP) was dissolved by court order. While protests erupted then, they had to be stopped due to COVID-19 restrictions.

In June, tensions rose after Wanchalearm Satsaksit, a prominent activist who had been living in Cambodia in exile since 2014, went missing. However, the Thai government has denied involvement in this. Further, on July 18, protests led by students erupted again and were fuelled by the arrest of three student leaders over accusations of violating restrictions in organising earlier protests.

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Reethu Ravi

Reethu Ravi

Trainee Digital Journalist

Reethu, a story teller, a person often found between the pages of a book or contemplating the nuances of life.

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Abhishek M

Abhishek M

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