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Protests rock Bangkok

Demonstrators demand the departure of PM Prayuth Chan-ocha, a new constitution and an end to the harassment of opposition activists
Pro-democracy activists during the protest in  Bangkok on Sunday

Reuters   |   Bangkok   |   Published 17.08.20, 12:16 AM

More than 10,000 Thai protesters chanting “down with dictatorship” and “the country belongs to the people” rallied in Bangkok on Sunday in by far the biggest anti-government demonstration since a 2014 coup.

There were cheers for student calls to curb the monarchy’s powers — once a taboo subject — as well as demands for the departure of former junta leader Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a new constitution and an end to the harrasment of opposition activists.

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Students have led protests almost daily for the past month, but Sunday’s demonstration drew a broader crowd in the Southeast Asian country, which has experienced decades of protests punctuated by military coups.

“We want a new election and a new parliament from the people,” student activist Patsalawalee Tanakitwiboonpon, 24, told the crowd. “Lastly, our dream is to have a monarchy which is truly under the constitution.”

Prayuth won elections last year that the opposition says were held under rules to ensure that he kept power. The most vocal opposition party was subsequently banned.



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