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

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid