Thai cops fire water cannons at anti-monarchy protesters
Thai cops fire water cannons at anti-monarchy protesters after they tried to force their way through parliament’s razor wire barricades
- Riot police fired water cannon against anti-government protesters who wore helmets and masks in Bangkok
- Protesters tried to remove the coils of wire from the barricades and threw coloured smoke bombs at police
- The protesters are demanding changes to the constitution drawn up by Thailand’s former junta as well reforms to the monarchy and the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Cahn-ocha
- Thai lawmakers today discussed the possible changes to the constitution in Parliament in Bangkok
Thai riot police fired water cannon at protesters who tried to cut their way through razor wire barricades outside parliament in Bangkok today as lawmakers discussed possible changes to the constitution.
Protesters are demanding changes to the constitution drawn up by Thailand’s former junta. They also want the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former army ruler, and reforms to curb the powers of the monarchy.
Police set up barricades outside parliament, where hundreds of royalists earlier demonstrated to call on lawmakers not to change the constitution.
Live television images showed water cannon being fired against an advance guard of anti-government protesters who arrived with helmets and masks and tried to remove the coils of wire. Protesters threw back coloured smoke bombs at police.
Thai riot police fired water cannon at protesters who tried to cut their way through razor wire barricades outside parliament in Bangkok today
Pro-democracy protestors link arms as police fire water cannon at them during a demonstration against a charter amendment at Parliament
“Dictator’s lackeys!” the Free Youth protest group posted on Twitter with pictures of the helmeted riot police using the water cannon.
Police declared that protests were banned within 50 metres of the area. Hundreds of protesters assembled nearby.
Lawmakers were discussing several proposals for the way in which the constitution can be amended – some of which would exclude the possibility of changes to the way King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s monarchy is treated under the constitution.
There is also discussion of the role of the Senate, which was entirely selected by Prayuth’s former junta and helped ensure that he kept power with a parliamentary majority after a disputed election last year. Prayuth says the vote was fair.
Opposition parliamentarians have also called for changes to the constitution.
Pro-democracy protesters carry an injured fellow protester as police fire tear gas and water cannon at them
Live television images showed water cannon being fired against an advance guard of anti-government protesters who arrived with helmets and masks and tried to remove the coils of wire. Above, a protester reacts as he is hit by a water cannon.
A pro-democracy protester, wearing a hat, goggles and a mask, looks over the barricade set up by police near Parliament
Protesters lay on the ground as they recover from being hit by water cannons fired by Thai riot police
A man holds a blue umbrella as he looks over the barricade at scores of riot police
Pro-monarchy protesters clash with police during a pro-democracy rally earlier today
Scores of pro-democracy demonstrators are seen during an anti-government protest as lawmakers debate on constitution change
A Buddhist monk walks past riot police standing guard during an anti-government rally
Riot police hold their shields up as they stand in formation to protect themselves from smoke bombs thrown by protesters
A police officer pours water over his face after tear gas was thrown during an anti-government rally
Thai police officers stand guard at the barrier as protesters tried to force their way through to Parliament
Tear gas surrounds a police water cannon truck during an anti-government rally by pro-democracy protesters
Protests since July initially targeted Prayuth and constitutional change, but have since called for the monarch’s role to be more clearly accountable under the constitution and for the reversal of changes that gave the current king personal control of the royal fortune and some army units.
“Amending the constitution is going to lead to the abolition of the monarchy,” royalist leader Warong Dechgitvigrom told reporters at the demonstration.
Protesters have said they do not intend to abolish the monarchy. (Additional reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Writing by Matthew Tostevin; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Angus MacSwan)
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