Thai protesters clash with police, shout at king’s motorcade

(Reuters) – Thai police and protesters scuffled in Bangkok on Tuesday on the eve of a major planned anti-government demonstration and police said at least four people had been detained.

Trouble broke out when hundreds of protesters gathered near the Democracy Monument, a focal point of three months of demonstrations to demand a new constitution and the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former junta leader.

Protesters pushed up against a police line and some threw blue paint over the officers.

Police, meanwhile, demolished a tent that had been set up by the protesters.

A Thai police spokesman said some people for whom there were outstanding arrest warrants had been detained and that they would now face the legal process. There had been “four or five” arrests, he said.

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights said at least nine people had been arrested and that one was injured.

Protests since mid-July have brought the highest pressure in years on Thailand’s ruling establishment, with protesters also calling for reforms to curb the monarchy of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, once a taboo subject.

Tuesday was a public holiday to mark four years since the death of the king’s father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Later in the evening, Thai anti-government protesters gave their three-fingered salute and chanted “release our friends” at the passing motorcade of King Maha Vajiralongkorn in Bangkok on Tuesday after police arrested at least four of the demonstrators.

The vehicle, flying the royal flag, drove on the other side of the street from protesters near the Democracy Monument that has become a centre of nearly three months of protests that have also called for reforms to the powerful monarchy.

Meanwhile, The Nation Thailand, reported that His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Her Majesty Queen Suthida also performed a religious ceremony in the Royal Kathin Ceremony of 2020 to make merit at the end of the three-month Buddhist Lent on Tuesday (Oct13) at Wat Debsirindrawas Temple in Bangkok’s Pom Prap Sattru Phai district.

They were accompanied by Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendira Debyavati, the Princess Rajasarinisiribajra.