The Southeast Asian country of Thailand is currently in the news for all the protests being carried out there. The state is undergoing a revolt where pro democracy groups, largely consisting of students are demanding an end to the elitist rule in the country.
Since the events are unlike anything the kingdom has witnessed in recent times, the Thai government is doing all it can to diffuse the situation. In an emergency decree issued recently to put a stop to the largely peaceful protests being carried out in Thailand, the government has placed restrictions on the media as well as large gatherings.
.The Roots of Dissent
The current wave of dissent against the Thai government was sparked in February, when a pro-democratic party established by Thanathorn, a young Thai business man, was dissolved. The young owner had been an overt critic of the government and his party had fared exceptionally well in the 2018 elections, despite being a newly formed one. The Future Forward party had managed to get the third largest number of seats in the parliament.
Thailand has been faced with political instability time and again over the years, as a constant struggle for power between the Thai military and civil groups goes on. The last military coup, led by General Prayut Chan-o-cha, ended in an election, that is widely believed to have been rigged. As a result of the election, General Prayuth assumed the role of the country’s Prime Minister.
The worsening economic situation due to Corona Virus crisis has contributed to the growing anger of the common people against the top elites ruling the country.
What are the Protestors Demanding?
The Thai citizens are demanding that the current parliament be dissolved, the drafting of a new constitution, implementation of connotational monarchy in its true essence and resignation of the PM Prayut.
Citizens of the country also want the right of freedom of speech and claim that they are fed up with the government’s practice of sending pro-democracy activists into exile.
The Protest Symbol
A three finger salute, started by high school pupils, is rapidly becoming the symbol of the current protests. Students started raising this salute in 2014, after the election of the General into the parliament.
Students have been refusing to sing the national anthem, using the three finger salute and also wearing white ribbons in order to show solidarity with those protesting on the streets.
While the protests are in full swing at the moment, no one can predict what the future of this rebellion against the government will be.