More than 10,000 people gathered to take part in an anti-government demonstration in Bangkok on Sunday, August 16. Sunday's protest at the Democracy Monument was the largest demonstration against the government in recent weeks of widespread unrest. Previous rallies have predominantly been made up of student activists, but Sunday's gathering in central Bangkok reportedly attracted a wider crowd as the movement calling for a new constitution and for prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to step down appears to be gaining momentum. The protest is reported to have passed off peacefully, with no reports of violence or arrests.
Further protests are expected over the near term. A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are likely in the vicinity of any protests.
Public opposition has grown against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's over government spending, the dissolution of an opposition party, and many other factors. Activists have also called for reforms to the powers of the monarchy. Protests on an increasing scale have been held in Bangkok and other locations across Thailand in recent weeks. Counter protests have also been held, particularly in support of the monarchy.
On August 8, student groups officially launched the Free People group, which has grown out of the previous Free Youth movement responsible for much of the recent protest activity. At their inauguration, the Free People group announced plans to hold a mass rally on August 16.
Those in Bangkok and across Thailand are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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