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Thailand bans gatherings of more than five people in an effort to end anti-monarchy protests following The King’s return to the country

Thai Public Relations Department Handout

The Thai government has announced that gathering of more than five are to be banned in an effort to tackle anti-monarchy protests.

Whereas many countries in the world are introducing bans on gatherings to tackle the ongoing public health emergency, the Southeast Asian country is cracking down on those campaigning for democracy and less power for King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

The ban has been enforced as a response to those who have set up camp outside the Prime Minister’s office. Protesters have also obstructed a royal motorcade in their marches.

The King, who spends most of his time living in Germany, has returned to Thailand for a brief visit.

He travelled in his motorcade alongside Queen Suthida through a crowd of peaceful protesters who were chanting and raised their hands in a three-finger salute. 

Protesters are calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and for reform of the monarchy.

Maha Vajiralongkorn has assumed more power since he took the throne four years ago when a new constitution gave the King more emergency powers. He has also personally taken control of military units and certain assets.