Police fend off mass protests in Bangkok
Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters try to seize key sites in the Thai capital
Sunday 01 December 2013
Scenes of violence rippled through the streets of Bangkok on Sunday as police used tear gas and water cannon to battle tens of thousands of anti-government protesters who were trying to seize key sites in the Thai capital.
Residents of the capital were urged by officials to stay inside their homes after 10pm, as the scale of the final push to topple the government, as promised by the protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, became clear – authorities said that four people have been killed since Saturday and dozens injured. Mr Thaugsuban met the Prime Minister in front of military chiefs at a secret location yesterday evening and gave her two days to “return power to the people”, local media reported.
He also called for a nationwide strike of government and state enterprise workers today and urged for a suspension of the democratic system and for a non-elected “people’s council” made up of “good men” to run the country.
As the protesters tried to storm Government House yesterday, gangs of masked men – seemingly intent on provoking violence – threw stones and water bottles at police lines. Some carried shields they had seized from riot police and a stolen police van was parked outside one entrance.
The protesters cut razor wire and tried to pull down concrete barricades erected by the police, who responded with tear gas and water cannon but in general obeyed orders to show restraint and avoid violence.
One protester, Pom Chaiyanuwone, a 50-year-old housewife, echoed Mr Thaugsuban’s call for elections to be suspended, adding this would allow the country’s leaders “to educate the people to know real democracy”.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinwatra was keeping a low profile yesterday, although her deputy, Pracha Promnok, said last night that the government had the situation under control. Ms Shinwatra’s opponents accuse her government of corruption and say she is a puppet of her brother, Thaksin, who was deposed as premier in a 2006 military coup and now lives in exile in Dubai to avoid a jail sentence for abuse of power.
The current round of protests was sparked last month when the government tried to pass an amnesty bill that would have pardoned thousands of people convicted of politically related crimes. This would have paved the way for the return of Mr Shinwatra.
- 1 Kylie Jenner challenge: Bizarre lip suction device inspired by Kardashian sister goes viral
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 5 Giorgio Armani criticises the way some gay men dress saying 'a man has to be a man'
Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor are reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
Giorgio Armani criticises the way some gay men dress saying 'a man has to be a man'
Electronic waste worth £34bn piling up in 'toxic mine', warns UN report
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Administrator is requ...
£12000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer position with a...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Operations Leader is required to join a lea...