Power struggle and demos in thailand

Power struggle and demos in thailand

Tens of thousands of government opponents stepped up their protests in the capital bangkok on tuesday and occupied ministries again.

They stormed the ministries of agar, tourism and transport with flags, choruses and whistles. Others besieged the interior ministry and set up night camps outside the gate.

In the ministry of finance, which has been occupied since monday, the leader of the demonstrators, suthep thaugsuban, waited with supporters. The opposition politician was deputy head of government until 2011. A warrant was issued for his arrest. "We are asking him to turn himself in, otherwise he may be arrested if he shows up," police said, according to local media reports.

EU foreign policy chief catherine ashton called for avoiding escalation and resolving differences peacefully. "It calls on all those involved to respect the law and abide by democratic principles," its spokesman announced.

Protest marches with tens of thousands of supporters formed in various parts of the city, especially in the government district. "Yingluck get out!"They chanted. Yingluck shinawatra is prime minister. The demonstrators want to force the resignation of the government. They consider yingluck a puppet of her brother thaksin, who was overthrown by the military in 2006. He pulls the strings of the government from exile. He directs cabinet meetings via skype conferences and ministers regularly travel abroad to consult him.

Thousands of helmeted police shielded the ministries, but they were no match for the onslaught. Protesters threatened to cut water and power lines to ministries so that work could no longer be done there. They call themselves the "people’s army to overthrow the thaksin regime". Their demonstrators were known as "yellow shirts" and already partially paralyzed bangkok in 2006 and 2008. The opposite camp are the red shirts of thaksin supporters who did not appear on tuesday.

No one could estimate the number of protesters. On sunday, estimates of the number of participants ranged from 59,000 to many hundreds of thousands. The "bangkok post" extrapolated the occupied square meters and an assumed density of protesters and came up with 387 050 to 446 250 participants.

Meanwhile, in parliament, the head of government defended herself against attacks in a censure debate. Opposition leader abhisit vejjajiva accused of wasting taxpayers’ money. Guaranteeing farmers prices for their rice harvests well above market value has cost the government up to $11.5 billion over two years, it says. "The whole system is highly corrupt," abhisit said. Her government is committed to fighting corruption in all ministries, yingluck replied.

"Abhisit being in parliament and debating is a signal to yingluck that there is room for political dialogue to end the street protests," said political analyst panitan wattanayagorn, who is close to the opposition "democratic party". But what a compromise might look like was unclear.


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