Thailand crisis deepens as Red Shirts prolong protests

Anti-government protesters encamped for weeks in central Bangkok promised more aggressive measures after the government rejected their proposals to end increasingly violent protests in return for early polls.

Red Shirt protest leaders called on their supporters in the countryside to confront the army and police. Their backers responded by blockading police convoys in at least two areas, raising questions over whether the prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva can exert full control over rebellious parts of Thailand as the deadly protests entered a seventh week.

About 310 miles north of Bangkok, hundreds of Red Shirts formed a roadblock in Udon Thani province to stop a convoy of 150 police from heading to the capital. They formed another roadblock in Pathum Thani, about 30 miles north of Bangkok, preventing around 200 policemen from entering the city. Police reinforcements are being brought into the capital to disperse thousands of protesters, said Red Shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan. "We will try to block every spot we can in a bid to stop killing. We don't want to see anybody die."

The army's failed attempt to eject Red Shirts from another site in Bangkok on 10 April led to clashes that killed 25 and wounded more than 800.

Mr Abhisit, speaking yesterday in a televised interview – together with the army chief Anupong Paochinda in a show of solidarity with the military – flatly rejected a red shirt offer to call elections in 30 days and hold a vote 60 days later.

The developments rekindled fears of more unrest and a heavier toll on Southeast Asia's second-biggest economy as more retailers shut their doors and tourist numbers dwindled. Mr Abhisit said he would soon scale back Thailand's annual economic growth forecast.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Metail Ltd: Business Development Manager for Asia Pacific

£35,000 - £40,000 based on experience : Metail Ltd: As a Business Development ...

Guru Careers: Product Manager / Product Owner

£30 - 40k (DOE) + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: A Product Manager / Product ...

Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - £17,000 Basic, OTE Uncapped

£17000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company are looking for a S...

Recruitment Genius: 1st / 2nd Line Technical Analyst

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 1st / 2nd Line Technical Anal...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate