Protesters Denounce Thai PM For Pandemic Handling
Bangkok, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 18th Jul, 2021 ) :Thai police deployed water cannon against protestors in Bangkok Sunday as demonstrators defied Covid-19 restrictions to call for Premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha's resignation and mark the one-year anniversary of a pro-democracy movement.
The kingdom is currently facing its worst-ever Covid-19 wave, registering record numbers of cases daily as hospitals buckle under pressure.
Exacerbating the toll has been the government's slow procurement of vaccines for the public, which has drawn criticism from all sides as Thailand's economy is kneecapped by increasingly severe restrictions on businesses.
Defying rules prohibiting gatherings of more than five people, protesters piled mock body bags with red paint near the intersection of the capital's Democracy Monument ahead of their march on Government House.
"Prayut Chan-O-Cha must resign without any condition; the second is a budget cut to the monarchy and army to be used against Covid, and the third is to bring in mRNA vaccine." A giant banner of the former military chief -- mastermind of a 2014 coup -- was unfurled on the road, with protesters then stomping on his face.
By mid-2020, public discontent kicked off a rousing pro-democracy movement partly inspired by their counterparts in Hong Kong.
Exactly a year ago, thousands amassed at Democracy Monument to call for Prayut's resignation, the rewriting of the constitution, and for reforms to the kingdom's long-unassailable monarchy.
It marked the beginning of a movement that has widened the discourse on taboo topics, including the role of the royal family -- protected under a draconian defamation law.
Thailand announced earlier this week it would pair a dose of Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine with the UK-developed AstraZeneca after authorities found that hundreds of medical staff who received Sinovac jabs had contracted the virus.