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Junta takes on protests

Proposed Bill slaps harsh restriction on demonstrations

Thailand's military junta moved to clamp down on street protest Tuesday, approving in principle a Bill curbing public gatherings.

The Bill, proposed by the police, requires demonstrators to inform police of rallies at least 24 hours in advance.

It bans any demos from going ahead at night, rallying at the prime minister's and other government offices, outside courts, airports and train and bus stations.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the military chief who shunted aside the elected Yingluck Shinawatra government in May following large right-wing protests, said the Bill might need some changes to "make it fair.

"There are protests overseas, too, and that's fine. But they do not have massive rallies like ours. It's unacceptable," he said.

The Bill still needs approval from the legal advisory board and the military-installed National Legislative Assembly.


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