Chiang Mai, Ubon rally to oust Prayut, government

Chiang Mai, Ubon rally to oust 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)
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)

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 trademark three-finger salutel and displaying placards urging Gen 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.

A student-led rally is held near the City Pillar Shrine in Muang district of Ubon Ratchathani on Sunday. (Photo from @Psolemn Twitter account)

In Ubon Ratchathani, a group of university and high school students, along with ordinary people, staged a rally near the City Pillar Shrine in the municipality 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 Gen Prayut to dissolve the House, end intimidation of citizens and draft a new charter.

On his Facebook page, Mr Jatuporn advised protesters to avoid the issue of the monarchy and called for patience and open-mindedness from authorities as the rally was held with good intentions.

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