News / Asia

Thai Protests Turn Deadly Amid Negotiation Bid

Thailand Protesters Continue Bid to Oust Governmenti
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November 29, 2013
Anti-government demonstrations by tens of thousands of people continue on the streets of Thailand’s capital. Leaders of the movement say they will keep protesting and occupying government ministries until the country’s prime minister steps down. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok that security forces this week have not intervened to bar the demonstrators from seizing government buildings and camping out in front of them.

VIDEO: Anti-government demonstrations by tens of thousands of people continue on the streets of Thailand’s capital. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman has more from Bangkok.

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VOA News
Authorities in the Thai capital, Bangkok, say two people have been killed around 35 wounded in overnight political violence.

Police said Sunday that gunshots rang out late Saturday as anti-government protesters attacked people headed to a rally at a sports stadium in support of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.  It was not immediately clear who fired the shots.

Opposition leaders say Sunday will be their "victory day" and have called for supporters to surround the prime minister's office.  They vow to take over every ministry until Prime Minister Yingluck resigns.

VOA correspondent Steve Herman reports from among the crowd Sunday on his Twitter blog that police have fired tear gas at protesters on a bridge near Government House, and that the protesters threw the cannisters back at police.  He also reports that police have fired water cannons at protesters.

More than 1,000 protesters gathered in Bangkok Saturday as part of a week of dramatic demonstrations.  The protesters tried to force their way into government communications offices, and attacked a bus and other vehicles.

In response to the unrest, Yingluck said Saturday she is willing to speak with protesters and other stakeholders.
 
Leaders of the anti-government movement rejected her offer, saying the government is insincere in its desire to negotiate.

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 street protests are the largest in Thailand since 2010, when more than 90 people were killed in a military crackdown on an opposition protest.

The latest demonstrations were triggered several weeks ago by an amnesty bill that would have allowed former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra - Ms. Yingluck's brother - to return home and avoid a two-year jail term for corruption.  The Senate rejected the bill but protests have continued.

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