Pro-democracy demonstrators in Thailand, undeterred by arrest warrants and the possibility of violent attacks, held another rally, poking fun at their critics and warning of the possibility of a military coup.
The potential for violence was illustrated after their last rally on Wednesday, when two men were reportedly shot and critically wounded. Although the incident remains murky and its connection to the rally unclear, it was a reminder that the student protesters are vulnerable, especially because of the passions they inspire among some of their opponents.
The protest movement's core demands are for Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and his government to step down, the constitution to be amended to be more democratic, and the monarchy reformed to make it more accountable.
Their issue concerning the monarchy is the most controversial because the royal institution by law and tradition is virtually untouchable, and regarded by many as the bedrock of national identity. The military has declared defence of the monarchy to be among its foremost duties.
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