Thailand declares state of emergency to curb student-led protests

The Thai government has announced an emergency decree to curb student-led anti-government protests in Bangkok.

Thailand’s government has imposed a state of emergency in a bid to end three months of student-led anti-government protests.

Demonstrators are calling for reforms to the monarchy and the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former army chief who took power in a 2014 coup.

Last Wednesday, tens of thousands of people marched in Bangkok, setting up camp outside Government House, the PM’s office.

The government said it had been forced to act after protesters obstructed a royal motorcade.

The emergency decree bans gatherings of five or more people and the publication of news or online messages that could harm national security.

Police said they arrested about 20 people, including three key protest leaders.

Supporters of the monarchy, dressed in yellow shirts, also staged rival protests in the capital.

The student-led protest movement aims to remove Prayuth, but they also want a new constitution and have called for a reduction in the powers of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, breaking a long-standing taboo on criticising the royal family.