Thailand is once again trending on global media, what exactly is happening in Thailand? Thailand is witnessing massive protests at the moment, thousands of people are protesting near Thailand’s capital in Bangkok. The protests gained momentum as lawmakers debated constitutional changes in the parliament. Thousands of protesters are calling for reforms to the monarchy and state-backed government reigning over Thailand. There have been reports of fighting and clashes among pro-reformists and those who support the royal Thai family. The police are hurling water cannons and tear gas as the situation continues to get worse.
What is happening in Thailand?
The proposed amendments to the constitutional framework resulted from months of protests by the citizens. It is hoped that the new amendments would make Maha Vajiralongkorn, the king of Thailand more accountable. These reforms are also intended to reform the senate where currently the members are unelected. Protesters are also adamant about obtaining the resignation of Prayuth Chan-Ocha, the Prime Minister of Thailand and a former general who seized control of the country after a successful coup in 2014.
Today’s violence ensued when a group of angry protesters attempted to cut through a razor-wire barricade to gain entry to the parliament. The demonstrators also hurled smoke bombs along with bags of paint at the riot police stationed near the parliament.
The police responded to this situation by using a water cannon to hold the protesters back. When this strategy failed, the police resorted to using the cannon to fire liquid infused with tear gas. Photos show demonstrators struggling to wash the irritant gas from their bloodshot eyes. Health officials revealed that about five people had been treated in hospital for the effects of tear gas, while several other protesters were being treated at the scene.
The police retaliate by water cannon and tear gas
Some protesters tried to shield themselves behind giant inflatable rubber ducks they had brought along. The rubber ducks were brought to float down the river located behind the parliament as lawmakers contemplated amendments inside. A citizen tweeted, We condemn all acts of violence initiated by the government forces. They did hurt us before even though they heard our desperate voices. Such decisions against humanity are unacceptable. Please spread the news and pray for Thailand
Thailand has witnessed political turmoil for years now, however, tensions are at an all-time high now as protesters have begun revolting against the powers possessed by the monarchy. Thailand’s lèse-majesté law criminalized any insult to the monarchy and is strictly employed by the law and order authorities.
“Amending the constitution is going to lead to the abolition of the monarchy,” pro-royalist leader Warong Dechgitvigrom told the press this morning. What is happening in Thailand currently is likely to make history.
Video: Thailand Protests
BREAKING – Thailand protests: Water is sprayed by security forces after protesters come closer to the barricades around parliament. #whatshappeninginthailand #thailand #ม็อบ17พฤศจิกา #รับทุกร่างคือทางออก pic.twitter.com/MuHkJY8Eo1
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) November 17, 2020