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Thailand’s Prime Minister Faces Nationwide Anti-Government Protests



Thailand’s Prime Minister has appeared to back down against anti-government protesters as protests have erupted nation wide. Anti-government protesters have been gathering and shouting “Prayut get out-Senators get out” nationwide.

A Government spokesman said yesterday the Prime Minister recognized the right to protest but said demonstrations must be held in accordance with the law.

“The government is willing to listen to everyone ‘s problems and continues to solve problems in all areas,” the spokesman quoted Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha as saying. Anti- government protesters are calling for his resignation and also changes to the constitution. The constitution was re-written after Gen. Prayut’s 2014 coupe.

Gen. Prayut’s tone seemed friendlier than on Saturday when he warned people not to attend gatherings and violate his emergency decree. Gen. Prayut has come under fire after police used violent tactics in Bangkok on Friday by firing water cannon at peaceful protesters.

Water cannon used on peaceful anti-government protesters

Thailand's Prime Minister Face Nationwide Anti-Government Protests

The violent dispersal seemed to energized protests in Bangkok and other provinces. With about 20 protest leaders arrested, organizers have switched to “leaderless” rallies. Allowing individual demonstrators to address the crowds.

On Sunday, protests erupted in about 20 locations in provinces outside Bangkok. The Victory Monument and Asok intersection were the main sites in the capital.

Major rallies were held outside the Future Park shopping centre in Rangsit area of Pathum Thani province; and Central Plaza WestGate in Bang Yai district of Nonthaburi province. Authorities trying to enforce the emergency decree said about 1,000 demonstrators gathered. The rally in Rangsit ended shortly before 8pm.

In Nakhon Ratchasima province, students — estimated by authorities to number 600 — gathered at Rajamangala University of Technology Isan to demand that the prime minsiter step down and senators handpicked by the junta resign.

“Prayut get out-Senators get out”

Thailand's Prime Minister Face Nationwide Anti-Government Protests

In Khon Kaen, students numbering at least in the hundreds gathered outside Khon Kaen Witthayon demanding all activists be released. They then moved on to join Khon Kaen University students and other demonstrators on the university campus.

“Release our brothers,” one student banner hung outside the school read.

Approximately one thousand students attended a rally at Chiang Mai University that ended shortly after 10pm on Sunday. The also rallied at Chiang Rai’s Mae Fah Luang University. Speakers onstage said if the student protest leaders previously arrested in Bangkok were not released by Tuesday. Students would also block Huay Kaew Road from the university entrance to the Maya shopping mall at the Rin Kham intersection with the superhighway.

Source: Bangkok Post



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