News / Asia

Thai Govt Rejects Negotiations with Protesters, UN Mediation Role

Muslim Minority Women in the Protest Camp, Bangkok, May 16, 2010
Muslim Minority Women in the Protest Camp, Bangkok, May 16, 2010
Daniel Schearf

The Thai government has rejected an offer for negotiations with protest leaders and says it will continue military pressure to close the protesters' camp in Bangkok.  At least 31 people have been killed and more than 230 injured in three days of fighting between soldiers and protesters.  The government has delayed a plan to impose a curfew on the camp area.

The Latest:

The Thai government has set a deadline of mid-afternoon Monday for women, children, the elderly and other unarmed protesters to leave their encampment in Bangkok's main commercial district.

A military spokesman said Sunday that security forces plan to allow neutral organizations such as the Red Cross into the protest area to encourage people to leave.

 

Thick black smoke billowed over the Bangkok skyline Sunday as clashes continued between soldiers and anti-government protesters.

Senior Lady in the Protest Camp, Bangkok, May 16, 2010
Senior Lady in the Protest Camp, Bangkok, May 16, 2010

Hopes for peace surfaced when protest leaders said they were ready to negotiate with the government.

Their conditions were for authorities to pull back troops circling their camp and to allow the United Nations to mediate the dispute.  

But government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said the military operation would continue and U.N. mediation is unacceptable.

He says the Thai government does not have a policy of letting any agency intervene in the country's internal affairs.  He says the government has sovereignty and the Kingdom of Thailand can solve its own problems.

The spokesman also said the state of emergency is being extended to five more provinces because of fears the fighting could spread across the country.  That puts 22 out of 76 provinces under emergency rule, giving the army authority to maintain order and placing limits on the media and public gatherings.

The government demands that protesters leave the camp they established nine weeks ago in a central Bangkok commercial district.

Protest numbers have dropped since fighting broke out Thursday after the government began increasing pressure on the camp.  

The demonstrators have been trying to push back soldiers who are blockading the camp.

The estimated 5,000 protesters still in the camp, while nervous, remain defiant and many are angry.  Almost all of those killed were protesters.

Saman Somjit says he is not afraid of the soldiers but he feels helpless against them.

"Now if I have a gun or something I will go out to kill with the army.  But, I have nothing, you know," Saman said. "Just only sling shot.  But sling shot and M16, how we can fight with them?"

Authorities say some protesters have fired guns and grenades at soldiers.  Protesters deny the accusation and point out that no soldiers have been killed since Thursday.

The demonstrators say a traditional elite in Bangkok, supported by the military, conspired to remove their elected leaders from power.  

An agreement for November elections fell apart when protest leaders demanded the deputy prime minister be charged in connection with an April attempt to break up the protests, in which several protesters died.

Citing security concerns, authorities declared Monday and Tuesday holidays for Bangkok and delayed school openings for at least one week.

But hours after announcing it would institute a curfew on Sunday, the government canceled the plan, saying the situation in the city is "under control."

You May Like

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Works to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Smithsonian senior research botanist Vicki Funk says ultimate goal is 'trying to get one-half of the diversity of plant life on Earth at the genus level in two years' More

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

Report from member of British think tank says Russian extradition requests keep targets from traveling More

US Lawmakers Weigh Turkish Anti-terror Moves

Turkey’s two-pronged campaign against Islamic State militants, Kurdish PKK forces provokes mixed reactions on Capitol Hill More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs