Hundreds of Thais took to the streets on Thursday (June 24, local time) to call for Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to step down and change the constitution to stem the influence of the powerful monarchy.
Embed from Getty Images
The protest took place despite the ban on mass gatherings in public places because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The protests also come at a time when Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s government faces strong public criticism for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, slow economic recovery and related vaccine policy. related to a company owned by King Maha Vajiralongkorna.
According to Reuters, Jatupat “Pai Daodin” Boonpattararaksa, the leader of the protest, told the crowd in the capital Bangkok: “The Constitution must come from the people“.
The June 24 protest also marked the day that Thailand announced the end of totalitarian monarchy in 1932.
Mr. Jatupat said: “In the 89 years since the end of tyranny, we have had nothing“.
Bangkok’s deputy police chief, Piya Tavichai, said the capital’s police department had deployed about 2,500 police officers to maintain public order.
“It is not appropriate to gather in large numbers at this time because it may lead to an increase in the spread of the virus [corona]” said Mr. Piya Tavichai.
This protest is a return to the anti-government movement that took place last year with the leadership of young activists.
A year ago, hundreds of thousands of Thais across the country took to the streets to demand that Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha step down and change the constitution. However, the protest movement was stalled after the government deployed security forces to suppress people, arrest protest leaders and also due to the outbreak of a new wave of COVID-19 infections. So far, protest leaders in Thailand have been released on bail.
In this protest movement, the Thai people broke the taboo tradition of criticizing the king. They publicly condemned King Maha Vajiralongkorna and the Royal Family despite the risk of up to 15 years in prison.
Nhu Ngoc (According to Reuters)