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

    Steve Herman is VOA's Senior Diplomatic Correspondent, based at the State Department.

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora