News / Asia

Thai Police, Protesters Battle in Bangkok

  • Policemen charge against anti-government protesters at one of their barricades near the Government House, Bangkok, Feb. 18, 2014.
  • A policeman aims his weapon towards anti-government protesters during clashes near the Government House, Bangkok, Feb. 18, 2014.
  • Policemen take cover as shots are fired during clashes with anti-government protesters near the Government House in Bangkok, Feb. 18, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters lift a police car after clashes with Thai riot police officers, near Government House, Bangkok Feb. 18, 2014. 
  • An anti-government protester takes pictures of shotgun cartridges placed onto a board used to transport wounded people during clashes with police, near the Government House, Bangkok Feb. 18, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters celebrate on top of a destroyed police vehicle after clashes near the Government House in Bangkok, Feb. 18, 2014.
  • A man confronts police officers during an operation to reclaim government offices occupied by anti-government protesters on the outskirts of Bangkok, Feb. 14, 2014.
  • A man prays as he and colleagues confront police during an operation to reclaim government offices occupied by anti-government protesters on the outskirts of Bangkok, Feb. 14, 2014.
  • A local journalist is carried away by medics after being wounded from an explosive thrown towards riot police trying to retake a protest site in Bangkok, Feb. 14, 2014.
  • An anti-government protester sits on the ground praying in front of a line of Thai police near Government House in Bangkok, Feb. 14, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters gesture from a barricade where they confront riot policemen near the Government House in central Bangkok, Feb. 14, 2014.
  • Riot police remove tires and other obstacles as they retake a stretch of a road from anti-government protesters in Bangkok, Feb. 14, 2014.
Police Clear Opposition Protest Sites in Bangkok
Ron Corben
At least four people were killed and dozens injured as Thailand's government security forces moved to clear anti-government protest sites in Bangkok.  The clashes came as the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) called on Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to answer questions regarding her role in a controversial rice price support scheme.

Three protesters and one police officer were killed in fighting near Government House. Officials say around 60 people were wounded and about 100 protesters were detained. Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds to disperse some 2,000 protesters occupying grounds near the official offices of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Both sides appeared to be using weapons in the street battle.

Most protesters gave up quietly, but Sunai Pasuk, a senior researcher for New York-based Human Rights Watch told VOA that militants in the group near Government House had M79 grenade launchers and were firing at police.

"Resistance appears to be much more fierce and when police deployed tear gas and rubber bullets the protesters - some of them - responded with live ammunition and also war weapons including M79 grenade launchers leading to one police killed and many injuries and that triggered the street battles between the two sides," Sunai said.

After the firefight police retreated. But the chief of the security operations overseeing implementation of the state of emergency decree, Chalerm Yumbangrung, who is also labor minister, says he will push on with plans to clear the protest sites.

A protester holds a placard denouncing the government outside the government house in attempts to A protester holds a placard denouncing the government outside the government house in attempts to "shutdown" Bangkok, Thailand, Feb. 17, 2014.
x
A protester holds a placard denouncing the government outside the government house in attempts to
A protester holds a placard denouncing the government outside the government house in attempts to "shutdown" Bangkok, Thailand, Feb. 17, 2014.
The protests began in mid-January in a campaign by the opposition Democrat Party linked People's Democratic Reform Council (PDRC) to force Yingluck's resignation.

But the government opted to call early elections in February 2, only to see them partially disrupted by PDRC protests with thousands prevented from voting.  

Now Yingluck faces fresh challenges over her management of a rice buying scheme that critics say was laced with corruption and lost billions of dollars.

On Tuesday the National Anti-corruption commission, the NACC, announced, following an investigation, it would press charges against her.

Chris Baker, an author and commentator on Thai politics, says the courts are expected to play a key role in determining the Prime Minister's future.
 
"The movement on the courts and particularly on the counter corruption case against Yingluck that's still very important and that's likely to be an important part of the denouement," he said. "It's quite likely that the sort of facing saving formula for both sides is that while Suthep fails, also that Yingluck has to step back and what's difficult now is finding a formula for doing that and a legal formula for doing that - something that fits within the constitution."

The NACC has called on Yingluck to report on February 27 to acknowledge the corruption charges.   The documents being forwarded to the Supreme Court will require the prime minister to step back from formal duties, but not resign until the final verdict.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Benny from: NYC
February 18, 2014 10:52 AM
These Thailanders are very serious with their Politics...Problems are the neutral innocents are being affected greatly and unfair to those who believes in ballots and not goons. If ever money influences the voters in Thailand to gain power, then just accepts it and vote for your own choice of party. In the end, the people have to learn how respect the winner who knows how to play their cards correctly.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More