News / Asia

Thai Protesters Storm Army Headquarters

Thailand Protesters Continue Bid to Oust Governmenti
X
November 29, 2013 5:25 PM
Anti-government demonstrations by tens of thousands of people continue on the streets of Thailand’s capital. Leaders of the movement say they will keep protesting and occupying government ministries until the country’s prime minister steps down. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok that security forces this week have not intervened to bar the demonstrators from seizing government buildings and camping out in front of them.
Thailand Protesters Continue Bid to Oust Government
Thai protesters briefly stormed into army headquarters in Bangkok in a bid to get the military to join their efforts to topple the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

More than 1,000 opposition supporters left the compound peacefully after about two hours. Army Commander General Prayuth Chan-ocha later urged protesters not to force the army to take sides.

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 the prime ministers resigns.

A Thai soldier stands as anti-government protesters sit at the Royal Thai Army compound in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, Nov. 29, 2013.A Thai soldier stands as anti-government protesters sit at the Royal Thai Army compound in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, Nov. 29, 2013.
x
A Thai soldier stands as anti-government protesters sit at the Royal Thai Army compound in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, Nov. 29, 2013.
A Thai soldier stands as anti-government protesters sit at the Royal Thai Army compound in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, Nov. 29, 2013.
Security forces this week have not intervened to bar the demonstrators from seizing government buildings and camping out in front of them.

On Thursday, Yingluck easily survived a parliamentary no-confidence vote. But she and her brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, remains a magnet for controversy.

Many protestors believe Thaksin still runs things here despite the billionaire’s ouster in a 2006 military coup. In self-imposed exile, he faces jail time for corruption convictions should he return home. So far, the military, which has staged 18 coups since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932, is showing no sign of intervening.

In front of the U.S. Embassy Friday, former finance minister Korn Chatikavanji spoke to protestors as a letter was delivered to the American mission asserting the prime minister’s lack of legitimacy to lead.

Korn, atop a loudspeaker truck, shouts that they have come to tell the American people what they are doing and all gathered here agree with the contents of the submitted letter.

The U.S. State Department has referred to the seizure of property and the potential of violence here as “not acceptable means of resolving political differences.”

An anti-government protester gestures towards riot police outside the headquarters of the ruling Puea Thai Party of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in Bangkok, Nov. 29, 2013.An anti-government protester gestures towards riot police outside the headquarters of the ruling Puea Thai Party of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in Bangkok, Nov. 29, 2013.
x
An anti-government protester gestures towards riot police outside the headquarters of the ruling Puea Thai Party of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in Bangkok, Nov. 29, 2013.
An anti-government protester gestures towards riot police outside the headquarters of the ruling Puea Thai Party of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in Bangkok, Nov. 29, 2013.
Among the thousands joining the protest in front of the embassy, life insurance company employee Patthanapong Yamngarmlua.

“We don't like this government. We need them to get out of this country," said Patthanapong. "And, of course, including their family, also.”

Yingluck has been prime minister since her PueaThai party’s landslide election victory in 2011.

At the forefront of the opposition to her and her brother is former deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban.

He wants a “people’s council” established to select a new prime minister and enhancing the power of the monarchy, headed by the country’s ailing 85-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

A travel agency employee, identifying herself only as Sivaporn, agrees with those goals.

She says she does not know whether the movement will lead to change but everyone is giving their utmost every day and that is the best they can do.

While the anti-government demonstrations resemble more of a festival than a revolution, there are concerns that the mood could quickly change.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

You May Like

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs