Thai politicians began fleeing the parliament by boat as government supporters and anti-government protesters clashed outside parliament in Bangkok on Tuesday evening. Members of the two groups of demonstrators threw things at each other at the second barricade at Kiak Kai intersection.
Protesters converged on parliament to put pressure on lawmakers discussing changes to the constitution. Protesters also want the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former army ruler, and to curb the powers of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
Anti-government protesters were held back by thousands of police standing behind barricades, who used tear-gas water cannons.
Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said police had been obliged to act to keep parliamentarians safe.
MPs, senators and parliament officials began leaving the parliament on boats arranged by the Marine Department, from Kiak Kai pier on the Chao Phraya river, around 4.40pm.
Politicians flee by boat
Matichon reported they left parliament by boats to avoid confrontation with demonstrators. Legislators left from the pier behind the parliament building.
Among those who left were MPs from both camps. They included Pol Lt Gen Viroj Pao-in and Karun Hosakul of the opposition Pheu Thai Party, and Chada Thaiset of the coalition Bhumjaithai Party.
Khaosod Online reported that police deployed more water cannon at the main gate on Sam Saen Road around 4.30pm. There were a total of four water cannons. Police kept firing the tear-gas solution at demonstrators to prevent from moving closer to parliament.
Around 5.05pm, police moved water trucks back from the confrontation at Kiak Kai intersection. Demonstrators also managed to remove barricades and barbed wire and occupy areas at the intersection.
Police later moved back to Soi Wat Kaewfa. Then a clash erupted between anti-government demonstrators and pro monarchy supporters. The BMA’s Erawan centre reported that nine demonstrators were injured and were being treated at Vajira Hospital.
Source: Bangkok Post