Protesters in Bangkok submit 10-point list of demands to authorities, end rally

Bangkok, Sep 20 (Sputnik) Protesters in the Thai capital of Bangkok handed over to the local police department on Sunday a 10-point list of demands, including one for a reform of monarchy, to be passed to King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand. The two-day rally, the biggest in Thailand since 2014, began on Saturday as tens of thousands of people first gathered at the campus of Thammasat University in Bangkok and then marched to the nearby Sanam Luang square in front of the royal palace.
“We do not pursue to overthrow the monarchy, we want its reform and a return to the constitutional framework,” Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, the co-leader of the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration, declared when passing the list of demands to Bangkok Police Bureau commissioner Pakapong Pongpetra.
The police official vowed to pass the list to the Privy Council to be further presented to the king.
According to Sithijirawattanakul’s public readout of the demands, protesters seek resignation of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, whom they consider a successor to the 2014-2019 military government. They also demand democratization of the country’s constitution, which was drafted and adopted by the military rule in 2017.
The protest is a new spin of student-led rallies that began in Bangkok and other big Thai cities in January and were halted until mid-July due to the coronavirus pandemic. But it was not until recent months that Thai protesters openly demanded a reform of monarchy, which they believe progressively cedes being a constitutional monarchy and promotes “military dictatorships.”
More than 80,000 people attended the rally and some 20,000 of them spent the night at the Sanam Luang square. The protest leaders figured they better form a small group to pass the demands to the government, for a larger rally toward the palace would inevitably lead to clashes with police, which have been deployed to guard the building.
After handing over the demands, the protest leaders returned to Sanam Luang, declaring the present rally over and setting the date for the next one on September 24.


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