Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bangkok on brink of anarchy

We have been focusing on Somalia and the Pirates and I believe that we need to continue to watch that part of the world. However, there are some other parts of the world that we need to take some time to look at:

With Thailand on the brink of anarchy after another day of violence, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra called for a revolution last night.

He said now was the 'golden time' for protesters to rise up against the government, and he could return from exile to lead them.

His call came after Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva fled Bangkok and declared a state of emergency as protesters stormed the interior ministry and roamed the streets of the capital.

Troops fired in the air as red-shirted demonstrators surrounded and attacked the car carrying the Prime Minister away from the ministry.

The protests against 'rigged elections' come just a day after a summit of Asian leaders was brought to a halt in similar scenes.

There was a tense stand-off between riot police and supporters of Shinawatra with the government threatening 'tough measures' and hospitals on stand-by to take casualties.

The Foreign Office today urged Britons planning to travel to the 'Land of Smiles' to 'urgently review' their plans.

Political tensions have simmered since Shinawatra was ousted by a military coup in 2006 for alleged corruption.

He remains highly popular, however, in the impoverished countryside.

In Bangkok today troops fired at least four shots in the air as about 50 protesters broke through security at the ministry in Bangkok with the Prime Minister Abhisit inside.

Bands of anti-government protesters roamed areas of Bangkok as the emergency decree was announced, with some beating up motorists who hurled insults at them.

The emergency decree bans gatherings of more than five people, forbids news reports considered threatening to public order and allows the government to call up military troops to quell unrest.

But there were initial signs that the government might not be able to contain the protesters.

Reporters saw red-shirted demonstrators swarm over two of three armored personnel carriers outside a shopping mall in downtown Bangkok, while police stood by as a furious crowd beat a car in which they thought Abhisit was riding with poles, rocks and even flower pots.

It's apparent that we will be surrounded and suppressed by military force. Tear gas and military personnel have been prepared. So we told our people to be ready and be prepared,' said Jakrapop Penkair, a key protest leader.

'If they use force, the people will be our weapon. We are not scared. Abhisit must be ousted immediately.'

Prime Minister Abhisit suffered a political humiliation when the summit he had presented as a sign of the country's return to normality had to be cancelled yesterday after red-shirted supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra broke into the venue, sending Asian leaders fleeing by helicopter.

To read the rest of the reports and see pictures follow this link: Report

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 8:38 PM   0 comments links to this post

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