News / Asia

Thousands of Protesters March in Bangkok Against Amnesty Bill

Anti-government demonstrators fill up a street during a rally in Bangkok, Thailand, Nov. 4, 2013.
Anti-government demonstrators fill up a street during a rally in Bangkok, Thailand, Nov. 4, 2013.
Reuters
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the Thai capital on Monday after lawmakers approved a draft political amnesty bill late Friday night that could allow the return of self-exiled former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, one of Thailand's most polarizing figures.   
 
The bill's opponents say it's a thinly veiled attempt by the ruling Pheu Thai Party and its leader, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin’s younger sister, to whitewash the crimes of her billionaire brother. Thaksin was overthrown in a military coup in 2006 and has lived abroad since 2008 to escape corruption charges.
 
Protesters expressed frustration with Yingluck's government.
 
“There are [so] many issues [resulting from this government] that I can't stand it anymore. The things about corruption and amending the constitution. I just want our constitution sacred and just. The law should be powerful enough to enforce on everyone, not just some,” said an unidentified protester.
 
“When you look at the number of people here who are against the amnesty law, the government should be convinced to pull out the proposed law. The government has the majority [of] seats in Parliament [so is able] to solve this. The senators in the upper house are another branch who can stop this. They should come out to show their views and to vote against the law when it's read in the upper house,” said Nipit Intharasombat, a member of the Democrat Party.
 
Although it could be months before the bill becomes law, the protests in Bangkok by Thaksin's opponents, including royalist groups and members of the opposition Democrat Party, threaten to disturb months of relative calm in a country scarred by bloody unrest in 2010.
 
Thaksin, who won elections in 2001 and 2005 by landslides, remains a populist hero among the poor, whose votes helped Yingluck and her party sweep elections in 2011.
 
However, corruption scandals and alleged abuses of power steadily eroded his popularity among Bangkok's middle classes. That was compounded by royalist accusations that Thaksin was undermining the country's powerful monarchy, which he denied.
 
Since fleeing, Thaksin has hovered ghost-like over Thai politics, setting the broad policy lines for the government.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: chief from: sg
November 09, 2013 3:02 AM
what the latest now. Today is the 9th Nov 2013.? Did Yingluck withdraw those bills yesterday.

by: nada from: UK
November 06, 2013 10:27 AM
FYI, if this bill was passed and became the law, Thanksin , being 'whitewashed', would have his seized asset of equivalent to about 1,600 millions US dollars++ returned as well. Beside, when this Amnesty Bill was passed in the lower Parliament, it was at 4 o'clock in the morning, which not only the debate was intentionally prolonged so that the members of the House of Representative became exhausted: some knocked off or even left, but the Bill was voted right after the members who belongs to the opposition party walked off the room after having claimed such the biased act of the speaker of Parliament, and hence the vote to the Amnesty Bill of 310:0.

by: Seksan from: USA
November 06, 2013 6:31 AM
Government that won seats from buying votes is inglorious ! What the prime minister tried to do was nothing but to help bringing her brother back to Thailand and spending budgets on non senses stuffs and projects. She's dragging Thailand to hell.. The Shinawatra family should leave Thailand for good.

by: surasid sonsomsook from: Bangkok
November 05, 2013 3:20 AM
There are always two sides on every coin; Yingluck half way through her first term as Prime Minister would be very silly to jeopodize her term just intentionally only think of getting her brother back from exiled..the main aim of Amnesty Bill is trying to get the two major camp to become united and forgive one another of all the past conflicts and start off with a clean slate in the New Year...
At any rate it is still to pass the proceeding of the House of Senate's approval,rejection and or recommendations..

by: Suandy Tjoa from: Medan, Indonesia
November 04, 2013 11:14 PM
… who for who..., all simply a question to the Morality of the “Ruling Government, The Sister Sinawatra?” when the outcome is clearly shown worldwide … for the return of, A Brother, Thaksin & his money … at the expense of A Nation ? … can anyone stop this ? In Thailand or anywhere … ? as it may happen everywhere ...

by: Nipaporn from: Thailand
November 04, 2013 3:51 AM
Amnesty bill ?
You better take it from Devils,they will pass you into the limbo , not from Thais who belong to The King.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs