• Sunday, Oct 24, 2021
  • Last Update : 02:29 pm

Protesters call to 'kick out' Thai PM on coup anniversary

  • Published at 09:01 pm September 19th, 2021
An anti-government protester waves a flag during a demonstration
An anti-government protester waves a flag during a demonstration to mark the 15-year anniversary of the 2006 military takeover in Bangkok on September 19, 2021 AFP

Thailand has seen more than a dozen coups since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932 by its putsch-happy military

Hundreds of protesters drove through Bangkok's streets on Sunday to mark the 15th anniversary of a military coup that ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

The billionaire ex-premier -- now living in self-exile -- has remained a prominent figure in the country's politics since the military deposed his government on September 19, 2006.

Unloading a massive cardboard model of a tank for their "cars against tanks" protest, rallygoers honked car horns to call for the resignation of Premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha, a former army chief who came to power in a 2014 coup. 

"Fifteen years have passed, we are still here to fight," shouted Nattawut Saikuar, a politician long associated with Thaksin, to a sea of supporters waving "Kick out Prayut" flags. 

"No matter how many coups there are, it cannot stop us... No matter how good capacity their tanks are, it cannot stop the fighting hearts of the people."

Thailand has seen more than a dozen coups since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932 by its putsch-happy military -- often staged in the name of protecting the powerful royal family. 

Thaksin's juggernaut rise to power was boosted by the so-called "Red Shirts," mostly working-class supporters who revere him for populist contributions such as instating a universal healthcare system. But he was hated by Bangkok elites and the powerful military, and has faced a raft of corruption accusations. 

His influence in Thailand's patronage-reliant politics permeated the kingdom even after his ouster -- his sister Yingluck was the next premier, before she too was deposed in a 2014 coup led by then-army chief Prayut. 

The general went on to become prime minister in 2019 elections governed under a new constitution authored by his junta.

Nattawut said the premier has had plenty of time to improve Thailand, "but the country is in recession. The economy, society and politics are collapsing," he said.

The red-clad protesters in cars and on motorbikes plan to move to Democracy Monument, the site of several rallies by an anti-government movement that has repeatedly called for Prayut's resignation since last July. 

Scrutiny of the government increased after a fresh Covid-19 wave in April snowballed Thailand's cumulative caseload from less than 29,000 to more than 1.4 million infections in just five months, as well as a rising death toll.

52
Facebook 51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail