Thousands of anti-government protesters gathered in Bangkok on Sunday, October 25, following the expiry of their demand for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's resignation. The protest, which passed peacefully, was centered by the Ratchaprasong intersection where there was a minimal security presence. A similar protest is expected on Monday in the vicinity of the German Embassy in Bangkok. It is likely to be well attended.
Continued anti-government protests are likely over the near term. Previous demonstrations have involved clashes between protesters and police. A heightened security presence should be expected in the vicinity of protests and associated disruptions are likely.
Public opposition has grown against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha 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 October 16, following the emergency decree announced on 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 banned gatherings of more than five people within the city and prohibited the publication of news or dissemination of online messages which could "create fear". The Prime Minister also warned that a nightly curfew may be introduced if unrest continues. On 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 October 17, the entire BTS Skytrain system and the MRT Blue and Purple Lines of Bangkok's mass transit system were closed. Police have stated that they are currently investigating four domestic media outlets for their coverage of the protests.
On Thursday, October 22, the state of emergency in Bangkok was revoked as the Prime Minister attempts to de-escalate the situation, stating that he would lift the state of emergency in exchange for the protests remaining peaceful. A number of anti-government protesters who had been detained were also released on bail on Friday, October 23.
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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