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Turbulent Thailand

Thailand fails to block massive night protest near Grand Palace

Police ordered crowd to disperse without taking further steps

Pro-democracy protesters light up their mobile phones as they attend a mass rally to call for the ouster of Prime Minister Prayuth and reforms in the monarchy, in Bangkok, Thailand, September 19, 2020.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Despite light rain, Bangkok on Saturday night saw by far its largest demonstration since a coup in 2014 installed a military government and put a lid on free speech. Police claimed that only about 18,000 people turned up, while organizers said the figure was well above what authorities told media. 

"About 100,000 attended," Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, a key student leader, told reporters. "The turnout is proof of people's support for our demands," she said.

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