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

    Video US Observes Memorial Day With Wreath-laying, National Concert

    Obama lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora