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Chiang Mai, Ubon rally against Prayut, government

Protesters listen to a speaker during an anti-government rally at Tha Phae Gate in Chiang Mai city on Sunday. (Photo from Free Youth Facebook account)

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Students, activists and ordinary Thais held a rally in Chiang Mai on Sunday demanding the ouster of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his government.

A smaller protest was held in Ubon Ratchathani with the same demands, with the Free Youth group involved in the two peaceful gatherings.

Tha Phae Gate, one of the landmarks in the northern city, was surrounded by protesters giving their three-finger salute and displaying placards urging Prayut and his government to step down. They also called for the dissolution of the House and a draft of a new constitution.

Police were at the scene urging them to end the rally, saying it violated the emergency decree and could cause a second wave of the novel coronavirus.

In Ubon Ratchathani, a group of university and high school students, along with ordinary people, staged a rally calling for the government to step down.

"We really want to see changes," one student told the crowd in the northeastern city.

The two protests were peaceful and took place a day after a big rally at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok held by the Free Youth group and the Student Union of Thailand that drew several hundred protesters. It ended around midnight.

The rally in Bangkok was the first big political gathering since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

Jatuporn Prompan, chairman of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, on Sunday sent a message to the protesters, saying they should make their demands loud and clear. Their statement calls for Prayut to dissolve the House, end intimidation of citizens and draft a new charter.

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charter : a constitution - รัฐธรรมนูญ

citizens (noun): people who have the right to live permanently in a particular country - พลเมือง

constitution : the set of laws and basic principles that a country in governed by - รัฐธรรมนูญ

dissolution of the lower house : formally end the House of Representatives, usually leading to a general election - การยุบสภา

emergency decree (noun): a situation where the government takes on special powers in a dangerous situation and the rights of the people are often limited in some way - ประกาศภาวะฉุกเฉิน  

gathering : a party or a meeting when many people come together as a group - การรวมตัว, การประชุม

intimidation : deliberately making someone feel frightened, especially so that they will do what you want - ขู่ขวัญ

landmark : a building or place that is easily recognised, especially one which you can use to judge where you are - สถานที่ที่เป็นจุดสังเกต

ouster : forcing someone out of a position of power - ขับออกจากอำนาจ

protest : a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something - ชุมนุมประท้วง

rally : a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something - การชุมนุม

salute (noun): a formal signal, usually by putting your hand to your head as a way of showing respect to someone - การคำนับ, การแสดงความเคารพ

violate : to do something that is against a law, rule or agreement - ฝ่าฝืน, ละเมิด


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