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24 Jun, 2021 12:03

Thai protesters back on the streets demanding resignation of govt and limiting of king’s powers

Thai protesters back on the streets demanding resignation of govt and limiting of king’s powers

Thai protesters have flocked to the streets amid ongoing demands for the prime minister’s resignation and reforms to limit the king’s power on the anniversary of the 89th Siamese Revolution.

Hundreds took to the streets in Bangkok on Thursday to protest Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha’s government, with some protesters gathering at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument, and others marching to the Government House, where the prime minister’s offices are. Demands include reducing the power of the monarchy under the rule of the current king, Maha Vajiralongkorn.

The protests are being held symbolically on the 89th anniversary of the Siamese Revolution – a coup that overturned 800 years of absolute monarchal rule and turned Thailand into a constitutional monarchy. Protest leader Jatupat ‘Pai Daodin’ Boonpattararaksa said, “In 89 years since the end of absolutism we have not got anywhere,” adding that changes to the constitution must “come from the people.”

At around 3pm local time on Thursday, key protest leaders, including Jatupat, entered the Thai parliament to submit their version of amendments to government officials and to speak with them. It is not yet known how the government has reacted to the proposals.

While the protests have so far been mostly peaceful, there have been slight altercations and booing of members of the government that have attempted to speak with the public.

According to the deputy head of the Bangkok police, Piya Tavichai, around 2,500 police officers have been stationed to monitor the protests. So far, they have barricaded roads and other routes leading to key government buildings.

Demonstrations are largely being held in the capital, though they have also been planned in the northern city of Chiang Mai, as well as the southern region of Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Protests began taking place across the country in July 2020, when thousands of students took to the streets to demand the resignation of the prime minister and his government, constitutional reform, and an end to harassment from the authorities.

Also on rt.com Bangkok protesters demand king cedes control of royal fortune as Thailand revives law banning criticism of monarchy (VIDEOS)

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha came to power in 2014, after the military seized control from Yingluck Shinawatra’s caretaker government, which made the general the leader of the country. The next election will take place in 2023.

The current king of Thailand increased his royal power and wealth when he took the throne in 2016. The hashtag #WhyDoWeNeedAKing was tweeted over a million times after he breached Covid-19 measures to return to Bangkok to commemorate his dynasty without quarantining during the height of the pandemic.

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