Rioting escalates in bangkok

rioting escalates in bangkok

Despite the escalation, the leader of the government’s opponents blew up a new storm: suthep thaugsuban called on his supporters to storm the police headquarters on tuesday.

Police defended the government headquarters, which was barricaded with concrete blocks weighing tens of kilograms. Thick clouds of trance gas drift over the government district. Hotel and shopping districts in the metropolis of 10 million people were not affected. There was also an exchange of blows between demonstrators and police officers at the police headquarters.

A court issued a warrant for suthep’s arrest for inciting a revolt. A detention order issued last week for trespassing on government facilities has not yet been enforced. Suthep now appears only surrounded by bodyguards.

Prime minister yingluck shinawatra offered renewed dialogue to end crisis in televised press conference. But after talking to suthep, their protests seemed helpless. "We do not reject his demands, but we do not know how to implement them," she said. Suthep wants not only the fall of the government, but a completely new government structure.

It calls for a "people’s committee" to take over the business of government and to draft a new constitution before new elections are held. The details are unclear. Suthep has appointed 37 men for the purpose and has appointed himself secretary general.

"The government hopes that suthep’s supporters will eventually give up," said political scientist chaiyan rajchakool of ubon ratchathani university. "She believes they will tire over time. This is not what it looked like on monday.

After weekend of rioting that left at least three dead, attackers tried again to beat down barricades with battering rams. The streets looked like a battlefield, with protesters lying on the ground everywhere, complaining of sore eyes and nausea. A monk wearing a gas mask helped some wash the chemicals from their faces with water.

Soldiers were on duty with stretchers to rescue the injured. Protesters hijacked a police van and positioned it as a shield against the trangas and water cannon fire. Someone had sprayed "fuck you" on it in paint.

The street protests were triggered by a controversial amnesty law. It had enabled thaksin shinawatra, the brother of the head of government who was overthrown by the military in 2006, to return to thailand as a citizen of good standing. He had been sentenced to two years in prison for abuse of office, but fled into exile. After an initial storm of protest, the bill failed in the second chamber of parliament. But for the government critics, the matter was the last straw. They accuse the leadership of wasting taxpayers’ money and of pursuing a policy of demanding personal interests.

"People are fed up with a democracy that produces corrupt politicians – like thaksin," said thitinan pongsudhirak, director of the thailand institute for security and international studies (ISIS). "But what they want exactly, they are only now thinking about it."

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