World News

Thai PM Offers to Negotiate With Anti-Government Protesters

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has offered to hold talks with protesters trying to force her government from office, as tensions escalated in Bangkok Saturday.

A government spokesman says Ms. Yingluck is willing to speak with a broad range of parties, including protesters and other stakeholders.

Leaders of the anti-government movement rejected her offer, saying the government is not sincere in its desire to negotiate.

On Saturday, more than 1,000 protesters gathered in Bangkok as part of a week of dramatic demonstrations. The protesters tried to force their way into state communications offices and attacked a bus carrying government supporters to a rally at a sports stadium.

Witnesses say they heard gunshots near the stadium, and that at least four people were wounded.

Anti-government protesters have been occupying government buildings in recent days in a bid to force Ms. Yingluck's government from office.



Opposition leaders say Sunday will be their "victory day" and have called for supporters to besiege the prime minister's office. They vow to take over every ministry until Prime Minister Yingluck resigns.

The prime minister survived a no-confidence vote in parliament Thursday. She refuses to resign and has called for dialogue to resolve the situation.

The street protests are the largest in Thailand since 2010, when more than 90 people were killed in a military crackdown on an opposition protest.

The latest demonstrations were triggered several weeks ago by an amnesty bill that would have allowed former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra - Ms. Yingluck's brother - to return home and avoid a two-year jail term for corruption. The Senate rejected the bill but protests have continued.
###

Feature Story

Pro-democracy protesters stand in heavy rain while blocking a main road at Mongkok shopping district in Hong Kong, October 22, 2014.

Audio VOA Exclusive: US Democracy Group Rebuts Hong Kong Meddling Allegations

Chinese state media and pro-Beijing news outlets in Hong Kong have published a series of articles accusing the National Endowment for Democracy of funding, advising protesters More

Special Reports