Police clash with anti-government demonstrators near military base

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Published on February 28, 2021 by

Police in Thailand used tear gas and water cannons against protesters marching toward a military base in Bangkok Sunday to call for King Maha Vajiralongkorn to give up direct command of the army unit housed there.

Protesters threw bottles at police and marched up to a barricade of shipping containers and barbed wire at the entrance to the base of the 1st Infantry Regiment, one of several army units the government of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha transferred to the king’s control in 2019.

The Thai youth-led political movement rose up last year to demand Prayuth’s resignation and broke taboos by calling for reforms of the monarchy.

Public criticism of the king is illegal in Thailand, with insults to the monarchy are punishable by up to 15 years in prison under the country’s strict lèse-majesté law.

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