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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs