News / Asia

    New Round of Clashes Erupt in Thailand

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Interview with VOA's Daniel Schearf in Bangkok on Latest Developments

    Thai security forces and anti-government protesters are engaging in another violent clash in Bangkok's main commercial district, where fighting in recent days has left two people dead and dozens of others wounded.

    Loud explosions erupted from the so-called "Red Shirt" protest zone as security forces fired tear gas and live and rubber bullets into the crowd of demonstrators early Friday.  Witnesses say some protesters set fire to an empty police bus before fleeing the scene.

    Gunshots were heard in the area throughout the night and into the morning, and one building was battered by shells. Businesses and several foreign embassies located in the upscale district have been closed and evacuated.  Mass transit systems have been disrupted as services and stations within the affected zone have been shut down. And the government has extended an emergency decree to 15 other provinces in a bid to prevent more protesters traveling to the capital.

    Friday's violence was triggered when a dissident general aligned with the Red Shirts was shot in the head and seriously wounded Thursday as security forces began a crackdown on the protesters' encampment.  The wounded general, Khattiya Sawasdiphol, better known as "Seh Daeng" or Commander Red,  was struck in the temple while being interviewed by a reporter.

    He is in a coma at a Bangkok hospital, and its director says it is doubtful he will survive.

    Thai security forces have deployed up to 30,000 troops backed by armored personnel carriers as part of an operation to disperse protesters rallying in central Bangkok for the past two months.The unrest which began in early April in Bangkok's Rajprasong commercial and retail area have forced the closure of hundreds of shops, leading to millions of dollars in revenues losses and thousands of jobs at stake.

    On Silom Road, largely empty to traffic and closed off in sections, troops were on standby. Ms. Fah, a resident of Silom, backs the presence of the armed forces. Ms. Fah says the Thai people love their soldiers and are happy to have troops in the area, as well as loving the country's monarch.

    Key Red Shirt leaders said Friday they would press on with the rally in defiance of a crackdown and are calling for supporters to gather at another venue in Bangkok.  That venue, at Rajadamneon Avenue, was the scene of clashes in April between protesters and security forces that left more than 20 people dead and more than 850 others injured.

    But divisions have been reported within the Red Shirt leadership, with some core leaders looking to end the rally after initially welcoming a reconciliation plan offering new elections in November. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is said to have withdrawn the early election date.

    Many protesters support former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted in a coup in 2006. Mr. Thaksin was accused by the urban middle class of corruption and abuse of power. But the former leader, who lives outside the country, still commands support among the urban and rural poor through previous populist policies while in power.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora