News / Asia

Thai Protesters Rally Support for Shutdown

Anti-government protesters wave flags as they march on the street during a warm-up rally to paralyze the capital Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Anti-government protesters wave flags as they march on the street during a warm-up rally to paralyze the capital Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand.
VOA News
Anti-government protesters marched through Bangkok Tuesday, rallying support for a larger demonstration next week they hope will shut down the capital and force the prime minister to resign.

One of the protesters, 27-year-old Naprapat Phrompipatpakdee, said she supports the opposition's call for Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to hand over power to an unelected people's council.

"Everything that this government has said or done is all wrong and they are pretending that it is right. I disagree with this," she said. "That's why I have to come to join Suthep."

  • People observe the streets from overhead as anti-government protesters block the road near Government Complex, Bangkok, Jan. 12, 2014. 
  • A rescue worker sits on a barricade after anti-government protesters close the road near Government Complex, Bangkok, Jan. 12, 2014. 
  • Anti-government protesters sit under beach umbrellas during a rally at the Democracy Monument, Bangkok, Thailand, Jan. 12, 2014. 
  • Anti-government protesters rest in their tents in an opposition camp, Bangkok, Thailand, Jan. 11, 2014. 
  • A woman looks out of her tent after waking up in the anti-government protester encampment near the Democracy Monument, Bangkok, Thailand, Jan. 12, 2014. 
  • An anti-government protester holds two Thai flags as his group arrives to block one the of the major intersections of the city, Bangkok, Thailand, Jan. 12, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters wait behind a barricade after closing the road near Government Complex, Bangkok Jan. 12, 2014.
  • Protesters shout slogans during an anti-violence campaign, Bangkok, Thailand, Jan. 12, 2014. 
  • A traffic policeman talks to anti-government protesters as they set up barricades to close the roads at a major intersection, Bangkok, Thailand, Jan. 12, 2014. 
  • General Prayuth Chan-ocha (C), chief of the Royal Thai Army, answers questions from the media while attending national Children's Day at the army base, Bangkok, Thailand, Jan. 11, 2014. 
  • A woman dances in the anti-government protester encampment near the Democracy Monument, Bangkok, Thailand, Jan. 12, 2014. 
  • Buddhist monks collect alms as they walk in the anti-government protester encampment near Democracy Monument, Bangkok, Thailand, Jan. 12, 2014. 
  • An investigator points at a bullet hole in the window of a cafe after a shooting incident near the Khao San Road tourist area. Seven people were wounded, one seriously, after gunmen opened fire on anti-government protesters, Bangkok, Thailand, Jan. 11, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters hold up Thai banknotes to donate to anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban during a rally in Bangkok, Jan. 7, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters march during a rally in central Bangkok,Thailand, Jan. 7, 2014.

The protesters, led by ex-Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, aim to paralyze the capital next Monday with mass demonstrations that will block main highways and prevent government offices from functioning.

Prime Minister Yingluck has dissolved parliament, called for early elections, and proposed the formation of a national reform council as a way to resolve the months-long political crisis.

But the opposition has said this is not enough, saying reforms must take place before elections, which analysts say the prime minister's ruling party is likely to win.

Demonstrators view Yingluck as a puppet of her brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Former prime minister Thaksin, a billionaire businessman, was ousted in a 2006 military coup. He was convicted of corruption and lives in self-imposed exile.

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