Thai protesters give PM three days to quit

Thai PM reconvenes parliament as protesters ramp up pressure

Earlier Monday, embattled Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha said parliament - now in recess - would be recalled to discuss how to reduce tensions, and warned protesters not to break the law.

Thailand's Prime Minister has revoked emergency measures imposed on Bangkok following more than a week of daily anti-government protests in the nation's capital and other cities.

With protesters starting to gather for three new rallies in Bangkok on Monday evening, a top official with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission confirmed reports that the agency had been ordered to block access to the messaging app Telegram.

Protesters handed government representatives what they said was a resignation form for Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to sign, and also demanded freedom for their comrades arrested in connection with earlier protests.

Nevertheless, police said Monday that there were pushing forward with ways to flex their power, including seeking to invoke censorship measures to restrict reporting on the protests.

Pro-democracy demonstrators line up as they march near the Government House during an anti-government protest in Bangkok, Thailand October 21, 2020.

"We received information from intelligence units concerned that parts of the content and distorted information have been used and disseminated to cause confusion and instigate causing unrest to society", police spokesman Kissana Phathanacharoen told a news conference.

The Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand expressed deep concern that the Royal Thai Police were investigating Voice TV, along with Prachatai, The Reporters and The Standard.

According to a police document dated October 16, investigations have been ordered into content from four media outlets as well as the Facebook page of a protest group. As of Monday, none of the outlets had been blocked.

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Voice TV executive Makin Petplai denied their coverage had jeopardised national security.

On Wednesday night, the prime minister said in a TV Pool address that everyone should take a step back in the conflict between the government and the anti-government movement. "The circumstances can now be controlled by state officers", the statement said.

One Hong Kong Twitter user named Crystaljel recommended using umbrellas as shields and carrying saline water, and added: "Make good use of your talent and courage".

"The upcoming session is an important platform for MPs to also call for the immediate and unconditional release of all detained peaceful pro-democracy activists and remind the government of their duty to ensure the Thai people are able to exercise the right of peaceful assembly and expression".

The protest movement became particularly controversial when it adopted reform of the monarchy as a demand.

Even the forcible dispersion of a rally by riot police backed by water cannons in Bangkok last Friday failed to faze protesters, who appeared in equal or greater numbers on subsequent days. The protesters want it to act within the checks and balances of democracy.

Royalists, meanwhile, have stepped up their presence online and held a small rally Wednesday in Bangkok, with clashes breaking out between anti-government protesters and supporters of the monarchy.

As they prepared to demonstrate again on Monday, Prayuth said parliament - now in recess - would be recalled to discuss how to reduce tensions. It was not clear when that might be held.

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