Thailand imposes ’emergency’ amid protests, leaders detained

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Thailand’s government has imposed a state of emergency in a bid to end three months of student-led street protests calling for reforms to the monarchy and the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, arresting at least 20 activists and two of the movement’s leaders early on Thursday.The ruling bans gatherings of five or more people and the publication of news or online messages that could harm national security.
Protests have escalated for three months and protesters set up camp outside Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s offices in the capital Bangkok to demand his resignation late on Wednesday. The government said it also acted after demonstrators obstructed a royal motorcade.
Videos shared widely on social media showed police protecting the royals’ yellow vehicle from crowds of people holding their arms aloft in the three-finger salute that has become the symbol of the democracy movement and shouting their demands.
“It is extremely necessary to introduce an urgent measure to end this situation effectively and promptly to maintain peace and order,” state television said.
The announcement was accompanied by a document setting out measures that took effect from 4am local time (21:00 GMT) banning large gatherings and allowing authorities to ban people …

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