Latin American Herald Tribune
Venezuela Overview
Venezuelan Embassies & Consulates Around The World
Sites/Blogs about Venezuela
Venezuelan Newspapers
Facts about Venezuela
Venezuela Tourism
Embassies in Caracas

Colombia Overview
Colombian Embassies & Consulates Around the World
Government Links
Embassies in Bogota
Sites/Blogs about Colombia
Educational Institutions


Crude Oil
US Gasoline Prices
Natural Gas

UK Pound
Australia Dollar
Canada Dollar
Brazil Real
Mexico Peso
India Rupee

Antigua & Barbuda
Cayman Islands

Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Costa Rica
El Salvador



What's New at LAHT?
Follow Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Most Viewed on the Web
Popular on Twitter
Receive Our Daily Headlines

  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Demonstrators Resist Police Harassment in Bangkok

BANGKOK – Thousands of demonstrators demanding democratic reforms in Thailand gathered in different parts of Bangkok on Saturday.

Activists again outwitted authorities who closed the capital’s public transport network in a bid to prevent mass protests that took place on a fourth consecutive day despite a ban.

Police ordered the suspension of all BTS and MRT services in the city and also closed several roads and the Airport Rail Link line.

Young demonstrators organized themselves on social media to avoid police blockades and held rallies in several locations throughout the capital, particularly Samyam, Lat Phrao, Udomsuk and Wongwian Yai.

But there were also small pockets throughout the city that defied the ban on more than four people gathering, a rule imposed on Thursday under the government’s state of emergency.

Student activists chanted anti-government slogans and held up three-fingered salutes, which has become a symbol of the protest movement.

Police have arrested more than 60 protesters since Tuesday, including some of the main leaders of the campaign.

“We are all leaders. Whoever wants to speak, let them do so. Whoever wants to join, let them do so (…) They can arrest 10 or 100,000, more people will join,” protest group United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration said on social media.

Peaceful demonstrations were also reported in other provinces including Nonthaburi north of Bangkok and Khon Kaen in the east.

Organizers called for crowds to disperse as night fell to avoid a repeat of Friday when police used water cannons on protestors.

“Rest and in the coming days let’s unite and fight together,” said the group Free Youth.

Police justified Friday’s harsh response saying demonstrators had violated the emergency decree and damaged public property.

A spokesman said at a press conference that authorities had acted according to international standards and respected human rights standards.

The police repression has been strongly criticized by human rights groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

“By sending in the police to violently disperse peaceful protesters, Thailand’s government is embarking on a wider crackdown to end the students’ protests,” said Brad Adams, HRW Asia director.

“Invoking the emergency decree gives the police the green light to commit rights abuses with impunity.”

The government declared a state of emergency in the early hours of Thursday, a day after a massive crowd of demonstrators carried out an unprecedented act of rebellion by flanking the royal motorcade in which Queen Suthida and Crown Prince Dipangkorn were traveling.

This decree aims to stifle the anti-government movement and prevent the publication of news on the subject.

On Friday night, a journalist from local media channel Prachatai was arrested during a live broadcast, while some cable TV operators systematically censor information about the protests on international channels.

The demand of the students’ movement, which kicked off on July 8 and has gained strength over time, is the resignation of the government headed by Prime minister Prayut Chan-ocha, a former general who came to power through a military cop.

The protesters have also called for a new constitution to replace the current drafted by the old military junta (2014-2019). They also seek to reduce military influence in politics.

However, the most controversial demand is that for monarchical reform, a taboo subject until recently due to the great respect the institution commands and strict lèse-majesté laws, which punish criticism of the crown with up to 15 years in prison.


Enter your email address to subscribe to free headlines (and great cartoons so every email has a happy ending!) from the Latin American Herald Tribune:


Copyright Latin American Herald Tribune - 2005-2020 © All rights reserved