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01 Dec 2020 | 11:12 AM UTC

Thailand: Activists to rally at Lat Phrao Intersection in Bangkok, Thailand, from 1600 December 2

Activists to rally at Lat Phrao Intersection in Bangkok, Thailand, from 1600 December 2; Rallies also possible at Constitutional Court

security
THA

Event

Pro-democracy activists plan to gather at Lat Phrao Intersection in Bangkok's Chatuchak District from 1600 Dec. 2 amid ongoing demonstrations in the country. The protest is set to coincide with the announcement of a Constitutional Court verdict in a case against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha. Rallies by rival pro-government and pro-democracy groups may also take place at or near the Constitutional Court located in the Chaeng Watthana Government Complex. Hundreds to thousands of people have participated in recent pro-democracy rallies in Bangkok, and similar numbers may participate in the Dec. 2 demonstration. Activists may shift the rally venue at short notice, especially if police prevent protesters from gathering at the intended site.

Authorities will almost certainly heighten security, including erecting roadblocks and security cordons, at and near the Lat Phrao Intersection and the Constitutional Court. Localized transport and business disruptions are likely. Officials may close nearby train stations and streets to facilitate security measures. Police will probably disperse demonstrators if they attempt to bypass security cordons. Clashes between rival groups, as well as between protesters and security personnel, are possible; unknown persons shot and injured pro-democracy activists at a gathering near Siam Commercial Bank's main office on Nov. 25. Mass arrests may occur if security forces consider any demonstrators to violate coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, lese majeste laws that ban alleged insults against the monarchy, or requirements for public gathering permits.

Context

Opposition members of parliament filed a case against Prayuth, alleging that his current residence at an army facility is a constitutional violation and an abuse of power. Royalist and pro-democracy activists have been staging rival demonstrations in Bangkok and other cities nationwide since July. Pro-democracy groups are denouncing the current government's alleged nondemocratic policies and are demanding political reforms, such as rewriting the constitution and Prayuth's resignation. However, royalist groups claim that pro-democracy agendas undermine the monarchy and state institutions; they have demonstrated against actions or organizations that they deem are disrespectful of the monarchy. While Prayuth said on Oct. 28 that he would agree to constitutional amendments, including removing the Senate's power to vote on the prime minister's election, further demonstrations are likely in Bangkok and other cities across Thailand.

Advice

Avoid the Lat Phrao Intersection, the Constitutional Court, and surrounding areas Dec. 2 due to increased security measures and possible clashes. Seek updated information on any rallies from local sources, as organizers may not announce details in advance. Plan for localized transport and business disruptions. If violence occurs nearby, immediately leave the area and seek shelter in a non-government building. Heed all official traffic and security advisories.

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