Thursday , December 3 2020

Bangkok weighs creating committee to end protests


Thai lawmakers are weighing a proposal to set up a committee to explore ways to end the monthslong anti-government protests sweeping the Southeast Asian nation.
A working group is looking at a panel proposed by Deputy Premier Jurin Laksanawisit, House Speaker Chuan Leekpai said on Tuesday. Parliament is set to wrap up a special two-day session convened to discuss the escalating protest movement.
Pro-democracy groups, which have been holding daily street protests since the middle of this month in Bangkok and other cities, vowed to stage more rallies if they didn’t like the result from parliament. They separately petitioned the German government to probe King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s legal status during his stay in the European country.
“We’re assessing the situation daily to plan our next move,” said Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, a protest leader. “We submitted a letter to the German embassy, so we’re still waiting for a response, and we still have to listen to what the parliament has to say today.”
The protesters want Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha to resign, changes to a constitution written after a 2014 coup and greater accountability and transparency for the monarchy — the most powerful institution in the country. The demonstrators have also drawn support from opposition parties for some of the demands such as Prayuth’s ouster and charter amendment.
“The session was just a move to show that the government is working on finding solutions, but in fact they haven’t really considered the input from the protesters and the public,” said Virot Ali, a lecturer at Thammasat University’s Faculty of Political Science.

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