Thai police on Saturday used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons during a new massive anti-government demonstration in Bangkok.
The demonstration, called by the movement Redem (Restart Democracy), was scheduled to start at 14.00 at the Democracy Monument before marching to the Grand Palace, but was forced to change its route several times, which ended up spreading the riots throughout much of the city.
The group came out on Saturday with three demands: the unconditional resignation of the Prime Minister, General Prayut Chan Ocha, cuts to the military budget and more resources to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The demonstrations have left five people injured — two civilians and three police officers — and two arrested, according to sources from the Erawan Emergency Medical Center and the police, ‘Bangkok Post’ said.
A burning police vehicle is seen during clashes at a protest against what they call the government's failure in handling the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Bangkok, Thailand, August 7, 2021. REUTERS/Shoon Naing pic.twitter.com/OYGBdORSrl
— Shoon Naing (@Shoon_Naing) August 7, 2021
“Rubber bullets and tear gas were used for crowd control. Our aim is to maintain order,” explained police spokesman Col. Kritsana Pattanacharoen, before complaining that protesters threw several objects at officers, he added.
Bangkok has been the scene of numerous anti-government rallies since the second half of 2020.
The demonstrators are calling for the “abolition of Article 112”, which refers to lèse-majesté laws and carries penalties of up to 15 years’ imprisonment for those convicted of insulting the monarchy.
-Thailand News (TN)