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Students challenge king, govt with new protest in Bangkok

Bangkok / Student-led protests returned Wednesday to challenge authorities in Thailand with a demonstration to call for the government’s resignation and reforms to limit the power of the military and politics.

At least 14,000 officers were deployed in Bangkok to control protests expected to reach their peak in the late afternoon and prevent them from approaching an avenue where King Vajiralongkorn’s convoy is scheduled to pass.

The protest, which coincides with the anniversary of the beginning of the pro-democracy student demonstrations in 1973, takes place amid tensions due to skirmishes Tuesday between police officers and protesters, who threw blue paint at the agents while they were dispersed.

At least 21 students were arrested, including one of the student leaders, Jatupat “Pai Daodin” Boonpatararaksa, next to the Democracy Monument, where protesters began to gather Tuesday.

Promonarchic groups, identified with yellow t-shirts and polo shirts, were in the area to greet the monarch, who will participate in a ceremony at the Grand Royal Palace, which could cause confrontations.

Police allege the anti-government demonstration is “illegal” because it interrupts traffic and has not received authorization.

Students, who have protested almost daily since July, hope to bring together tens of thousands of people as in the last call on Aug. 19 and 20 and announced they would march to government headquarters to demand the resignation of the Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha.

Congregated under the civilian People’s Party coalition, protests are led by several student organizations that want a new constitution to be written, as they consider the current one undemocratic because it was written by the old military junta between 2014 and 2019.

They also demand the dissolution of Parliament and the holding of transparent and fair elections.

The most controversial demand is the reform of the monarchy, a taboo subject until recently due to the great respect that the institution has inspired and the law of lese-majesty, which carries prison sentences of up to 15 years for those who criticize the crown.

King Vajiralongkorn, who spends much of his time in Germany, arrived last weekend to participate in religious ceremonies and the anniversary of the death of his father, the revered King Bhumibol, who passed away Oct. 13, 2016.

The schedule of the king, who has traveled with Queen Suthida and the royal concubine, is not known, but it is believed to be his longest visit this year, as he usually does not spend more than 24 hours in the country. (October 14, 2020, EFE/PracticaEspañol)

News related in video (August 2020):


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Question 1
En el texto se dice que...
se desconoce si hubo un despliegue de agentes para controlar unas manifestaciones.
hubo un despliegue de miles de agentes para que estos controlasen unas protestas en Tailandia.
solo se han desplegado unos pocos cientos de agentes para controlar unas manifestaciones en Bangkok.
Question 2
Según el texto...
esta es la primera vez que los estudiantes se manifiestan en Tailandia.
entre otras cosas se manifestaron para pedir que se redacte una nueva constitución.
no hubo ninguna protesta en la capital de Tailandia.
Question 3
Leyendo el texto entendemos que...
se desmiente que los estudiantes pidan la dimisión del primer ministro.
las protestas de los estudiantes en Tailandia son casi diarias desde hace unos meses.
se espera que el rey de Tailandia regrese al país este fin de semana.
Question 4
En el texto se dice que...
los estudiantes quieren una nueva constitución ya que la actual fue redactada por la antigua junta militar.
no es cierto que algunos estudiantes resultaran heridos en esas protestas.
por ahora, no se ha castigado a nadie en Tailandia por haber criticado a la corona.
Question 5
En el vídeo se dice que...
piden que se realicen reformas democráticas.
los manifestantes quieren que se otorgen más poderes al rey de Tailandia.
no se ha detenido a ningún líder del movimiento estudiantil.
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