News / Asia

Anti-Government Protests Spread to Thai Provinces

SEE VOA'S MOST RECENT STORY ON THAILAND

Anti-government protesters are blocking roads in Thailand's provinces, raising fears the political crisis may spread beyond the capital, Bangkok.  Adding to the tensions, a counter group is pushing the government to declare state of emergency in some provinces and for the military to end the protests.

The People's Alliance for Democracy wants the Thai government to declare a state of emergency in provinces dominated by the anti-government protesters known as red shirts.

On Monday, the PAD also called for the military to declare martial law in Bangkok to end seven weeks of protests led by the United Democratic Front Against Dictatorship.

Sunday, red-shirt protesters in northern provinces began blocking convoys of security forces being sent to Bangkok.

The PAD stance raises pressure in the country.  The group led campaigns to oust former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was removed in a coup in 2006, and later helped force out two pro-Thaksin governments in 2008.  

The red shirts largely support Mr. Thaksin.

Sean Boonpracong, a red shirt spokesman, says provincial supporters took the initiative to prevent the police from coming to Bangkok.

"It was not a deliberate strategy.  There are lot reds outside Bangkok who take their initiative.  And I think that, God willing, the police have cooperated with them," he said.  "There are many police units sent.  But the police are in two minds.  Some are even arriving late."

The red shirts demand new elections within three months.  The UDD claims the government is illegitimate because it was selected by parliament, not voters.

The red shirts, mostly from rural areas and the urban poor, are loyal to former prime minister Thaksin because of his policies to reduce poverty.  But Thailand's urban middle and upper classes say he was corrupt and abused his power. 

An economist at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University, Somphob Manarangsan, says the red shirts' civil disobedience indicates the protests are escalating.

"The conflict is going to be expanding to not only in Bangkok - even in Bangkok it is expanding - there are more demonstrations from various groups, and at the same time it is also expanding to the provincial areas; particularly in the north and northeast; that means that the conflict is going to be more difficult to be controlled," said Somphob.

At least 26 people have died in Bangkok since the red shirt protests began in March.  All but one were killed April 10th when police tried to clear a red shirt protest site.  One man died last week in grenade attacks that injured more than 80 in Bangkok's financial district.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid