News / Asia

Thai PM Calls Opposition Demands Unconstitutional

  • An anti-government protester throws back a tear gas canister fired by riot police in Bangkok, Thailand, Dec. 1, 2013.
  • An anti-government protester cleans his eyes with salt water solution after riot police fired tear gas to the protesters in Bangkok.
  • Police line up to thwart any attempt to occupy their headquarters in Bangkok. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • An anti-government protester gets ready to throw back a tear gas canister fired by riot police in Bangkok.
  • Anti-government protesters take cover during clashes with police near the Government house in Bangkok.
  • Anti-government protesters use self-made barricade against the water cannons and tear gas fired by riot police in Bangkok.
  • Police move behind their shields as they clash with anti-government protesters near the Government house in Bangkok.
  • An anti-government protester atop a loudspeaker truck calling on the prime minister to "get out" in Bangkok. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Police behind razor wire at their headquarters in Bangkok (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Those protesting want to rid the country of what they say is the lingering influence of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A crowd listening to an anti-government speech at and above a major Bangkok intersection (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Tens of thousands take to Bangkok's streets demanding the prime minister's ouster. (Steve Herman/VOA)

Thai Protests Intensify in Bangkok

VOA News
Thailand's prime minister said she cannot comply with demands by the anti-government opposition because they are unconstitutional.
 
In a televised news conference on Monday, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra confirmed that she met with anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban late Sunday. She said the meeting was held under the auspices of the military, which has maintained that it is neutral in the conflict.
 
She told reporters that Suthep's demands that she resign, dissolve parliament and turn the government over to an unelected "people's council" were not possible under the law.
 
The prime minister said she was willing to do anything she could to make people happy, but what she could do must be legal under the constitution.
 
Video clip: PM Shinawatra comments

Thailand Protesti
X
December 02, 2013 12:07 PM
Thailand Protest

Her comments came as police continued to fire tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets at thousands of protesters trying to seize government buildings in Bangkok.
 
The protesters had set Sunday as "Victory Day" to topple Yingluck's government, but failed to achieve their goal of seizing the prime minister's office at Government House or occupying state buildings.
 
The demonstrations have largely been peaceful, but tensions rose late Saturday and early Sunday after rival groups clashed in a northeastern Bangkok neighborhood, where a large pro-government rally was being held in a stadium. Dozens were wounded, and unidentified gunmen shot and killed four people.
 
Later, an estimated 30,000 people tried to force their way into the government's heavily-fortified headquarters, took control of a state broadcaster and occupied Ramkhamhaeng University.
 
Several of Bangkok's biggest shopping malls have been closed as a precaution against the violence.
 
Protest leader Suthep urged government workers to strike Monday. His comments were televised live on almost every station, including state-owned Thai PBS, which agreed to broadcast the speech after protesters surged into its compound.
 
Opposition leaders have proposed an alternative to the country’s democracy - a vaguely defined people’s council made up of representatives from many professions -  and vowed to take over every ministry until Yingluck resigns.
 
The prime minister survived a no-confidence vote in parliament Thursday. She refuses to quit and has called for dialogue to resolve the situation.
 
The conflict pits Bangkok's urban middle class and royalist elite against the mostly poor, rural supporters of Yingluck and her billionaire brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, a former prime minister ousted in a 2006 military coup.
 
The latest demonstrations were triggered several weeks ago by an amnesty bill that would have allowed Thaksin to return home and avoid a two-year jail term for corruption. The Senate rejected the bill but protests have continued.
 
The street protests are the largest in Thailand since 2010, when more than 90 people were killed in a military crackdown on an opposition protest.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid