News Alerts

18 Oct 2020 | 04:34 PM UTC

Thailand: Anti-government protesters gather in Bangkok October 18 /update 4

Thailand News Alert

Anti-government protesters gather in Bangkok on October 18; further unrest likely

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/18/2020, 12:00 AM until 10/19/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Bangkok). COUNTRY/REGION Bangkok

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Event

Anti-government protesters gathered in Bangkok on Sunday, October 18, for the fifth consecutive day in defiance of an emergency decree which bans demonstrations in the city. The United Front for Thammasat and Demonstration called on protesters to gather at the Victory Monument after The Free Youth movement previously told participants to standby at BTS and MRT mass transit stations across the city. The group also called on protesters to gather at the Asok intersection in Bangkok and 19 other provincial locations across Thailand.

Anti-government demonstrations have involved clashes between protesters and police since the introduction of the emergency decree. A heightened police presence should be expected in the vicinity of protests and associated disruptions are likely.

Context

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.

Thailand's cabinet approved a 30-day state of emergency in Bangkok on Friday, October 16, following the emergency decree announced on Thursday, October 15, due to large-scale demonstrations denouncing the government, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha and calling for reforms to the monarchy. Emergency measures ban gatherings of more than five people within the city and prohibit the publication of news or dissemination of online messages which could "create fear". The Prime Minister has warned that a nightly curfew may be introduced if unrest continues. On Friday, October 16, police used water cannon to disperse thousands of protesters who had gathered in the Pathumwan area in defiance of the decree. Prior to protests within the city on Saturday, October 17, the entire BTS Skytrain system and the MRT Blue and Purple Lines of Bangkok's mass transit system were closed.

Advice

Those in Bangkok are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate transportation disruptions, avoid protests or demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.

 

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