Peaceful protests against the monarchy continue in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. The Thai government has ordered the bank to declare a state of emergency alert to stop the program.
In a televised statement police said, “urgent action is needed to maintain peace and order.” The order also bans large gatherings.
Thursday morning, Police arrested several activists including three of the leading figures in the protests. The main objectives of the student-led pro-democracy protests are the resignation of the Prime Minister of Thailand and the against of the monarchy.
The state of emergency alert has been declared in the bank since 4 am local time on Thursday. Police said they arrested 20 people, but did not confirm their identities.
According to trusted sources, the main leaders of the protests – human rights lawyer Anon Nampa. He well-known penguin. Activist Parit Chiwarak and Panusaya Sithijirawatankul – were among those arrested.
In August, Anon Nampa publicly criticized the Thai monarchy for the first time And came to the discussion demanding reform of the traditional style. At the end of that month, Panusaya Sithijiravattankul came to the discussion with a 10-point demand for reforming the rules of the monarchy.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s order was broadcast on state television. The statement said the protesters were trying to create a situation that “incites chaos and conflict” and obstructed the “royal convoy”.
The order takes effect after a while riot police removed the protesters outside the prime minister’s office. At that time some people tried to create resistance but the police forcibly pushed them back. Despite the police presence on the streets to disperse hundreds of protesters were seen.
The order bans more than four people from gathering together, as well as the media. The order directs to refrain from disseminating any such news that could affect national security or peace and order by intimidating or deliberately distorting information and creating misunderstandings.
In addition to this order, the authorities will be able to ban the entry of ordinary people in any area of their choice.
The ongoing student-led protests in support of democracy have emerged as one of the biggest challenges for Thailand’s ruling elite in recent years. Protesters are the former army chief and Prayut, who seized power in an army coup in 2014. He became prime minister in a disputed election last year – demanding his resignation.
Another demand of the protesters is that the constitution of Thailand is rewritten. Several recent amendments to the constitution have sparked controversy.
Demands for monarchy reform have been strong since the recent protests began in August. Criticism of the Thai monarchy is currently illegal under Thai law, a long-running trend.
There have been many protests against Prayut since the military coup in 2014, but the protests gained new momentum after a court in February ordered the dissolution of a new democratic party. The Future Forward Party gained widespread popularity among young voters in the 2019 elections and won the third-highest seat in Parliament. But, the army-led government won that election controversially.
Student-led protests have been taking place on a regular basis since July this year. A large number of people gathered in Bangkok last week to protest.