Thai protesters give PM three days to quit | #students | #parents


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“Our fight isn’t over as long as he doesn’t resign. If within three days he doesn’t resign, he will face the people again,” protest leader Patsaravalee ‘Mind’ Tanakitvibulpon, 25, told the crowd.

She was subsequently arrested on charges police said were related to a protest on October 15, joining a list of dozens of activists arrested in the past two weeks. Her lawyer said she was charged for breaching the emergency measures.

As Patsaravalee was led away she said: “I’m not worried. This is the government’s game.”

In a televised address, Prayuth had said he was ready to lift measures banning political gatherings of five or more people and publication of information deemed to threaten security.

“I will make the first move to de-escalate this situation,” he said.

“We must now step back from the edge of the slippery slope that can easily slide to chaos,” he added, saying talks should go to parliament, where his supporters have a majority.

Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha is imploring protesters to desist their unrest. Credit:Government House via AP

The protests have become the biggest challenge to Thailand’s establishment in years and have drawn the most open opposition to the monarchy in decades despite lese majeste laws setting jail terms of up to 15 years for insulting royalty.

Most demonstrations have been peaceful so far, but police used water cannon against protesters last Friday, further fuelling the anger of government critics.

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Riot police briefly held up Wednesday’s march at one point before letting the crowds through.

Protesters say Prayuth rigged an election last year to keep hold of power he seized in a 2014 coup. He says the election was fair. Protesters accuse the monarchy of enabling years of military domination.

The palace has a policy of making no comment to media.

Prayuth said protesters should wait for next week’s emergency session of parliament, whose entire upper house was appointed by his former junta.

“The protesters have made their voices and views heard,” Prayuth said. “It is now time for them to let their views be reconciled with the views of other segments of Thai society.”

Scores of Thai royalists and anti-government protesters earlier confronted each other at Ramkhamhaeng University.

The yellow-shirted royalists advanced on student protesters and the two sides shouted abuse at each other. Some threw water bottles and other objects before the students pulled back and police stepped in to separate the sides.

“I beg you, do what you will, but do not touch the monarchy,” one of the royalists, Sirimongkol Ruampan, 24, told Reuters. “I don’t believe in violence. I beg again, don’t bring the monarchy into politics.”

Reuters

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