BANGKOK (AP) – Pro-democracy protesters in Thailand faced riot police and sprayed tornadoes on Sunday as they tried to reach the Royal Palace in Bangkok to send letters about Their political discontent sent to the king of the country.
The pro-democracy movement has been and is pushing for a bold challenge to reform the country’s monarchy with almost daily protests. Sunday marked the second time the tornado was used against protesters in months of protest.
The scuffle was short-lived and police then allowed protesters to place four fake red mailboxes near the walls of the palace so that protesters could place their letters. Everyone then went home, ending the protest.
Police released their cannons as protesters pushed to one of several buses blocking the marchers trying to reach the palace, which has royal offices but is only used by the King Maha Vajiralongkorn during the irregular ritual occasions. The attempt to cross the fence came after police declared their march illegal and asked protesters to send representatives to speak.
Demonstrators met earlier at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok and marched as darkness fell, crossing an initial thin police barrier. The protesters threw objects at the police during the chaos, but both sides stepped back after a few minutes and no one seemed to be seriously injured.
“People just want to send letters. Protester Thawatchai Tongsuk, 36, said: “If the police give way, I believe the leaders will submit the letters and then be done. Everyone will go home. “
“The more violence is used, the more people join the protest,”; Thawatchai said.
The protesters begged the king for letters from protesters that the marchers say they intend to mail, though the act is clearly iconic, with final disposition. the same of the unclear missionaries. It is the protest movement’s latest gimmick to maintain public interest in their cause.
The student-led movement, which for months gained political initiative, has put enough pressure on Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s government to urge Parliament to address at least some of their requests. .
They are asking Prayuth to resign, change the constitution to make it more democratic, and reform the monarchy to make it more accountable.
Protesters believe Mr. Prayuth lacks legitimacy because he came to power after an election last year with rules established under military rule. Prayuth as military commander in 2014 led a coup that toppled an elected government and then headed the army that ran the country until last year’s polls.
A new constitution came into force by the government that protesters also consider illegal and anti-democratic.
The third requirement, which calls for reform of the monarchy, is the most controversial. The monarchy is traditionally an inaccessible institution, regarded by most Thais as the heart and soul of the nation. A serious law provides a prison term of up to 15 years for anyone who defames the king or his immediate family.
Until the protests raised the issue, public criticism of the imperial institution was barely known.
While the protesters increasingly put the monarchy at the center, they have received serious opposition. Even the main opposition party, if it disagreed with its other views, said it did not want to amend the monarchy-related laws, and the royalists began holding protests. protest. Several dozen people had briefly assembled on Sunday for the main rally.
Parliament has agreed to debate a constitutional amendment and political leaders are discussing the creation of a reconciliation committee, an effort that has so far been dismissed by protesters.
But Prayuth insists he will not resign and that any attempt to reform the monarchy seems to have come to a standstill, leaving the situation at a standstill.