Protesters rallied in front of the country’s main investment bank, controlled by the monarch, to avoid clashes with police and loyalist groups. The pro-democracy movement wants limits on the monarch’s political role and crown assets. A dozen anti-government leaders are under investigation for "lèse majesté".
Bangkok (AsiaNews) – Thousands of pro-democracy protesters gathered this afternoon in front of the headquarters of the country's main investment bank.
The Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) is controlled by King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who was targeted by young demonstrators for his political role and the size of the crown assets, deemed excessive in a constitutional monarchy like Thailand's.
To avoid clashes with the police and loyalist groups, protest organisers decided against meeting near the Crown Property Bureau office, the original site of the rally.
For months, the pro-democracy movement has called for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former coup leader, demanding the instauration of a truly democratic constitution.
To stop the wave of protests, the authorities have starting accusing protesters of “lèse majesté”, an offence that can entail up to 15 years in prison since the monarch is seen as untouchable.
A dozen anti-government leaders are under investigation for slandering the king, including human rights activist Anon Nampa, who addressed the crowd near the SCB.