Thai Prime Minister Recalls Parliament To Solve Rising Protests

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On Monday, protesters gathered at three locations in the capital, Bangkok, to sing the national anthem and  raise three fingers from Hunger Games films, symbolizing opposition to the military-backed government.

Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said parliament, which is now on recess, would be called back to discuss how to ease tensions and warn protesters not to break the law.

Prayuth said the government has already made several compromises.

Thai police also said they ordered an investigation into four news outlets and restricted the Telegram messaging app in an attempt to stop the protests on Thursday.

Protesters last week challenged a government ban that bans more than four people from gathering after several democracy activists gave a democracy salute to a royal motorcade belonging to the monarchy.

Two activists are currently charged with a rarely used law prohibiting violence against the Queen and, if convicted, will sentenced to life in prison. Since then, protests have escalated sharply.

The movement, which is largely leaderless, called for the resignation of Prayuth, a former military commander and leader of the 2014 coup, as well as a revision of a military-written constitution that allegedly rigged last year’s general elections in his favor.

They also called for reform of the powerful and super-rich royal monarchy, an issue that has long been taboo.

They want the removal of the defamation laws that protect King Maha Vajiralongkorn from criticism, greater transparency in royal finances and protection of the king from politics.

Their demands to control and balance the monarchy have angered Thai conservatives, as the monarchy is seen as sacred and the strict laws that protect them from humiliation means that their roles are not usually discussed in public.

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