Thai Protests: Large Gatherings Banned Under Emergency Decree
15 October 2020 International News
Reports say, Thailand has issued an emergency decree banning protests as it clamps down on largely peaceful pro-democracy rallies that have also targeted the monarchy.
In a televised announcement the government said urgent measures were needed to “maintain peace and order”.It justified the orders partly on the grounds of some protesters disturbing a royal motorcade during a mass march in Bangkok on Wednesday. More than 20 people have been arrested including three protest leaders.
Thailand’s student-led democracy movement has been calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. The former army chief had seized power in a 2014 coup before he was appointed as premier after controversial elections last year.The protests have widened in recent months to also call for curbs on the king’s powers.
The decree, announced on state television overnight, said protesters had intended to instigate an incident leading to “chaos and incitement of conflict and public disorder”.
It cited the “obstruction to the royal motorcade” as one of the reasons for its imposition. Some protesters on Wednesday had raised the three-finger salute, a symbol of the movement, at a convoy carrying the queen as they were pushed back by ranks of police.