Thailand in a state of emergency due to protests against the Government

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The government of Thailand decreed a state of emergency late in the morning of Thursday Due to the anti-government protests that surrounded the Government House, the authorities proceeded to break up the demonstration and arrest some of its leaders.

The authorities have prohibited the meetings of more than four people and the publication of news that could harm national security, according to the announcement of the new measures televised by the public channel.

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters took to the streets on Wednesday from the historic center of Bangkok to call for the resignation of the Government and reforms to limit the power of the military and the monarchy, the latter a very controversial issue in the country.

The protest, which coincided with the anniversary of the student revolution in 1973, was generally peaceful and registered an unprecedented gesture of rebellion when the protesters surrounded the passage of the caravan of cars where members of the royal house, including Queen Suthida, were traveling.

The image of this face to face contrasts with the recent past, when the Thais knelt before the passing of the royal caravan.

The Government justifies the state of emergency to end the protests, which began in July and have been gaining strength, and to maintain peace and order.

Following the publication of the measures, which also entered into force immediately, the Police began to disperse hundreds of protesters who were spending the night in front of the Executive headquarters and, as reported by the group Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, they arrested at least three of the leaders of the demonstrations.

The main demand of the protests is the resignation of the Government, led by the coup general Prayut Chan-ocha, and a new Constitution, since the current one was drawn up by the old military junta (2014-2019), in addition to reducing the influence of the Army in politics.

The most controversial demand is the reform of the monarchy, a taboo subject until recently due to the great respect that the institution has inspired and the lese majestad law, which provides penalties of up to 15 years in prison for those who criticize the crown.

Monarch Vajiralongkorn, who spends much of his time in Germany, arrived last weekend to participate in religious ceremonies and the anniversary of the death of his father, the revered Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away on October 13, 2016.



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