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Many young Thais feel they have no future

July 24, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Thailand's student movement has reignited, as young people across the country defy threats from the military-backed government to take to the streets and call for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

(CNN)Thailand's student movement has reignited, as young people across the country defy threats from the military-backed government to take to the streets and call for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

The protests also come after years of political upheaval marked by a military coup in 2014, followed by failed promises to restore democracy, and what activists say is a repression of civil rights and freedoms.

While the military-backed ruling coalition promised to restore stability to a nation rocked by decades of coups and political crises, many of the country's young people feel Prayut's government has done little to improve their economic prospects, restore democracy, or build confidence in the people.

"The privilege and superiority should not be inherited by blood, this system has dragged Thailand," said Parit Chiwarak, a core leader of the Student Union of Thailand (SUT), which helped organize Saturday's protest.

Thitinan Pongsudhirak, political scientist and director of the Institute of Security and International Studies at Chulalongkorn University, said the student movement is "motivated by a lack of a future. "

These young people for the last 20 years living through Thai politics and putting up with two military coups, and at the same time Thailand has gone nowhere," he said.

At protests this week, demonstrators flashed the three-fingered salute from the "Hunger Games" movie franchise, which has become a symbol of Thailand's pro-democracy movement since the 2014 military coup.

Prime Minister Prayut on Tuesday said he was "worried and concerned about this movement" and warned protesters against violating the monarchy.

"Extending the emergency will allow Thai authorities to continue to repress contrary views, arrest critics, and ban peaceful rallies for political and not public health reasons," said Human Rights Watch's Asia director, Brad Adams, in May.

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