World News

Despite Protests, Thailand's PM Says She Won't Resign

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra says she will not give into opposition demands she resign, despite two days of large anti-government protests in Bangkok.

Mrs. Shinawatra told reporters Tuesday she has a constitutional duty to stay on as prime minister, and that only cooperation and dialogue can resolve the country's months-long political deadlock.



"I've stressed many times I have a duty to act according to my responsibility after the dissolving of parliament. I have the responsibility of acting as caretaker. I'd like to say right now, I am not holding on (to my position), but I have to maintain political stability."



She spoke as thousands of opposition protesters filled Bangkok streets for a second day, waving flags and blowing whistles outside several government buildings in an attempt to disrupt official business.

Their leader, ex-Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, said he will keep up the protests, and even threatened to detain his rival if she does not step down soon.



"In two to three days, we'll close all of the government offices. But if they remain steadfast, we'll detain the prime minister and other ministers."



The protests initially aimed to "shut down" the capital. But life continued as usual in most parts of the city Tuesday, though traffic was lighter than usual and protesters blocked several key intersections.



The protests did successfully shut down or prevent from opening several government buildings, though officials insisted work continued elsewhere at back-up sites.

One of the demonstrators, Suwisa Rakpong, is confident the government feels the pressure.



"We think this will help (to remove Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from government), though I don't know how stubborn she is. But she'll probably leave."



The protests have been peaceful, with some describing a festival-like atmosphere. But a hardline group has threatened to take over the stock exchange if the prime minister does not step down within days.

Prime Minister Yingluck has dissolved parliament, called for early elections on February 2, and proposed the formation of a national reform council as a way to resolve the months-long political crisis.

On Wednesday, she will meet with protest and political leaders to discuss the election commission's request to postpone the polls until May.

The opposition has said her concessions are not enough.

Suthep has called for a non-elected "people's council" to replace the current government and implement reforms to end corruption and money politics before any new vote takes place.

Analysts say the prime minister's ruling party is likely to win next month's snap election, which the main opposition party plans to boycott.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf on Monday said the U.S. is urging all sides to refrain from violence, and it applauds the restraint shown so far by government authorities.

The opposition views Ms. Yingluck as a puppet of her brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 military coup, convicted of corruption and now lives in self-imposed exile.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs