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 "shutdown" Bangkok, Thailand, Feb. 17, 2014.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 "shutdown" Bangkok, Thailand, Feb. 17, 2014.
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

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid