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Rabu, 18 November 2020

Thai protesters spray graffiti and water on police headquarters following worst day of violence - ABC News

Thai protesters have splashed paint, daubed graffiti and sprayed water on the police headquarters in Bangkok.

Wednesday's demonstrations came a day after dozens were hurt by tear gas and water cannon in the worst violence in months of anti-government demonstrations.

Youth-led protests since July have become the biggest challenge to the establishment in years.

The protesters demanded the ousting of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a new constitution and reforms to curb the monarchy's powers.

Tens of thousands joined Wednesday's protest, which turned the outside of the Royal Thai Police headquarters into a multicoloured mess.

A man wearing a blue hard hat holds a water gun to a police headquarters sign that has been sprayed with paint.
Protesters were angry at police response to earlier protests, which saw dozens of people injured.(AP: Wason Wanichakorn)

Protesters placed dog food at the gate for police in an insult to what they called "slaves of tyranny".

Some sprayed anti-monarchy graffiti.

Protesters said they were enraged by the police response to Tuesday's demonstration at parliament and the rejection by politicians of a constitutional reform proposal that could have considered the role of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

Violence intensifies after months-long protests

A clown kneels on massive inflatable duck and raises arms in the air.
Inflatable ducks have become protests mascots in Thailand.(AP: Sakchai Lalit)

Police barricaded themselves inside and did not intervene.

Protesters brought inflatable pool ducks to use as shields, in case police used water cannons. The ducks have also become protest mascots.

A police spokesman said the protesters had vandalised public property and thrown projectiles that could have hurt officers and as a result charges would be brought against them.

Protests since July have been largely peaceful.

A protester in glasses and facemask wears a raincoat and lifts their arms.
Pro-democracy protesters want parliament to consider changing the role of the monarchy.(AP: Wason Wanichakorn)

But Bangkok's Erawan Medical Centre said at least 55 people were hurt on Tuesday, with 32 suffering from tear gas and six with gunshot wounds.

Protesters also scuffled with royalist counter-protesters.

Police said a royalist had been charged with possession of a weapon and ammunition after the protest but did not accuse him of opening fire.

Royalists say they believe that calls for reforming the monarchy are a way to abolish it. Protesters deny that.

Monarchy's role in Thailand remains untouched

Riot police stand in formation as pro-democracy protesters throw smoke bombs near the Parliament in Bangkok
Riot police faced off against pro-democracy protesters near the Parliament in Bangkok yesterday.((AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn))

In parliament, politicians voted on seven options for ways to change the constitution.

A proposal that would have opened the way for discussion of the king's role failed to win enough votes for approval.

Two proposals were adopted that would allow for discussion of constitutional change without affecting the monarchy.

"We will not touch on that," said Wirat Ratanaset, from the ruling coalition.

The vote was not a surprise.

Mr Prayuth's supporters have a majority in parliament, where the entire upper house Senate was appointed by the junta he led after a 2014 coup until a disputed election last year.

The Royal Palace has made no comment since the protests began.

Reuters

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2020-11-19 01:14:00Z
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