Thai anti-government protesters return to streets

BANGKOK, Nov 18 — Thousands of anti-government protestors returned to the streets today repeating their demands for political change despite the violence where at least 55 people were hurt in the protest yesterday.

The protesters, clad in rain coat, helmet and mask today gathered in Bangkok’s business district of Ratchaprasong and repeated their demands for political change, including for prime minister to step down.

They later marched to Royal Thai Police headquarters which is about 100 m away. The protesters sprayed water and threw paint into the police headquarters and splashed paint on the signboard at the entrance.

Yesterday, riot police fired water cannons and tear gas to disperse anti-government protesters who tried to get through barbed wire and concrete barricades installed outside Parliament House here.

Bangkok’s Erawan Medical Centre said at least 55 people, including six with gunshot wounds were injured by tear gas during the protest at Parliament yesterday. It was unclear who fired the shots.

At a press conference today, deputy police spokesman Pol. Col. Krissana Pattanacharoen said the police are investigating who were behind the shooting.

“As I announced before, there was no rubber or live bullets used by the authorities at the operation (at Parliament) yesterday… we are digging more information on it,” he said. He reiterated that the response measures taken by the police fully complied with the law and regulations.

Parliament resumes today and lawmakers are expected to vote on possible constitutional reforms. The two-day sitting which started yesterday to discuss various proposals for constitutional change including the position and privileges of the monarchy and the role and powers of the elected Senate.

Rewriting of the constitution which was written by a military-appointed panel after 2014 coup is one of the demands of the student-led anti-government movement since mid-July. The other demands included the prime minister’s resignation, the dissolution of parliament and monarchy reform.

Later, this evening lawmakers voted on seven options for ways to amend the constitution. However, only two of seven proposed amendments were adopted to allow discussion on constitutional changes.

–BERNAMA

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