News / Asia

Anti-government Protesters Camp in Bangkok

Anti-government Protesters Camp in Downtown Bangkoki
X
January 14, 2014 3:30 PM
Anti-government protesters gathered by the thousands for the second day in Thailand's capital, Bangkok, as part of their plan to shut down the city and force the prime minister from office. So far the latest gatherings have remained peaceful. Gabrielle Paluch reports from temporary tent-villages in the heart of the capital.
Gabrielle Paluch
Anti-government protesters gathered by the thousands for a second day in Thailand's capital, Bangkok, as part of their plan to shut down the city and oust current Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
 
Thousands of protesters slept overnight at the seven main camps throughout the city before embarking on marches to government ministries that they demanded be shut down.
 
While many of the demonstrators are from Bangkok, others traveled far for what they say could be a protracted standoff with the government.
 
Protester Kamporn Saengravi drove more than 700 kilometers from southern Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, parking his van in Bangkok's Lumphini Park and sleeping in a tent alongside three neighbors who accompanied him.

  • Anti-government protesters march during a rally in Bangkok, Jan. 15, 2014.
  • An anti-government protester wears a mask during a rally in central Bangkok, Jan. 15, 2014.
  • Soldiers stand guard inside the Thai Defense Ministry in Bangkok, Jan. 15, 2014.
  • Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban addresses anti-government protesters occupying a major intersection in central Bangkok, Jan. 14, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters with national flags gather for a rally in Bangkok, Jan. 14, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters with national flags gather for a rally at Asok intersection in Bangkok, Jan. 14, 2014.
  • Anti-government protestors participate in a sit-in outside the Royal Thai Police headquarters in Bangkok, Jan. 14, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters gather outside the Central World mall in the shopping district in central Bangkok, Jan. 13, 2014.
  • An anti-government protester stands behind a barricade in a major intersection in central Bangkok, Jan. 13, 2014.

Kamporn said now that he has come, he will not go back. He will sleep on the street and eat on the street. He said that even though he is more comfortable at home he's happy to be here to fight for his country's future.
 
Protest leader Suthep Thuagsuban, who rejects the government's offer to hold snap elections, addressed crowds on a stage Tuesday, demanding the caretaker prime minister's resignation and warning ministers they should evacuate their children.
 
Suthep said that in two to three days, protesters will close all of the government offices. He further warned that if the government remained steadfast, the protesters would detain the prime minister and other ministers.
 
The prime minister has already dissolved the government and called for snap elections early next month, but protest leaders, joined by the opposition Democrat Party, are boycotting the vote.
 
Political Developments in Thailand

2006: Army overthrows Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra
2007: The pro-Thaksin People Power Party wins elections
2008: Anti-Thaksin protesters, known as "Yellow Shirts", stage months of demonstrations and briefly paralyze airports. Abhisit Vejjajiva becomes prime minister.
2010: Massive pro-Thaksin "Red Shirt" protests are held in Bangkok, dozens are killed
2011: Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of Thaksin, elected prime minister
2013: Anti-government protesters hold massive demonstrations, Ms. Yingluck calls new elections
2014: Protesters camp in Bangkok to shut down the city
While the prime minister refuses to step down, she has also said she is eager to end the standoff. She spoke with reporters Tuesday and again said she is open to negotiations.
 
Yingluck said she is asking for cooperation and requests all sides to take part in reforms. Whatever needs to be reformed or fixed, she said, including getting rid of corrupted politicians, is on the table. However, she also said her opponents' current actions are keeping the country at a standstill.
 
The protests began late last year when the lower house of parliament approved an amnesty bill that would have paved the way for Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, to return from self-exile in Dubai without serving jail time for a 2008 corruption conviction.
 
The Senate defeated the measure, but that did little to appease protesters, who want to expel the Shinawatra family from politics. 
 
Leader Suthep also wants to replace the democratically elected government with a council that he and his allies would appoint. This council would then carry out political reforms prior to holding new elections. The government has rejected that proposal, which many observers said would be a step backward for Thailand’s democracy.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid