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

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora