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Thai school students join protests against government

Thousands of people joined Thai students in a protest calling for education reforms as a part of wider calls for government removal. 

High school students are seeking greater freedom and fairer treatment within an education system which currently instills obedience. Protesters have three core demands: the removal of Prayuth Chan-ocha as prime minister, a new constitution and reforms to the monarchy of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

This was the first major protest since the Prime Minister warned on thursday that police would use all laws against protesters, who have become the biggest challenge to the establishment. 

At least 41 people were injured following conflict between protestors and the police in the Thai capital, Bangkok earlier this week. It was said to be the most violent protest to date. Protestors were attempting to reach parliament on Tuesday and tried to cut through razor-wire barricades near parliament where legislators were debating making changes to the constitution. 

Protestors threw smoke bombs and bags of paint at police, who retaliated with water cannon and tear-gas solution. 

Some protestors suffered gunshot wounds although police denied using live rounds or rubber bullets. 

Protests began in June after prominent pro-democracy activist Wanchalearm Satsaksit went missing in Cambodia where he was exiled after the 2014 coup. His death reverberated through the country, and Thai citizens began to question the legitimacy of their monarchy. 

Thailand’s lèse-majesté law, which forbids any insult to the monarchy, is among the strictest in place. Human rights groups have contended that the law is often used to curb free speech.

Read more from Reuters here and the BBC here

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