Sign up | Log in



Home  >>   Daily News  >>   Thailand News  >> Politics  >> Thai anti-government protesters occupy finance ministry
NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   26 November 2013  

Thai anti-government protesters occupy finance ministry

BANGKOK - Thai anti-government demonstrators on Monday stormed the finance ministry and threatened to seize more government buildings in a dramatic escalation of their efforts to topple embattled Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

The mass protests against Yingluck and her brother, ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, are the biggest since 2010 when the kingdom was rocked by its worst political bloodshed in decades with more than 90 civilians killed.

The turmoil has raised fears of a fresh bout of street violence in a country that has been convulsed by several episodes of political unrest since royalist generals overthrew Thaksin in a coup in 2006.

Police said around 30,000 protesters opposed to Yingluck's elected government marched on more than a dozen state agencies across the capital on Monday including military and police bases, as well as several television stations.

Hundreds of demonstrators, spurred on by protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, occupied buildings in the compound of the finance ministry, waving flags and dancing, according to AFP correspondents at the scene.

"Tomorrow we will seize all ministries to show to the Thaksin system that they have no legitimacy to run the country," Suthep said, addressing the crowd through a loud speaker.

Chanting "Thaksin get out, army come in", some of the demonstrators had earlier called for the intervention of the military in a country that has seen 18 actual or attempted coups since it became a constitutional monarchy in 1932.

The move comes after a boisterous rally on Sunday brought up to 180,000 anti-government demonstrators on to the streets of Bangkok, according to a revised estimate Monday from National Security Council chief Paradorn Pattanatabut.

Around 50,000 pro-government "Red Shirts" met overnight in a suburban football stadium in Bangkok in support of Yingluck and Thaksin, who remains a hugely divisive figure in Thailand.

The rallies are the biggest challenge yet for Yingluck, who swept to power in elections in 2011 on a wave of support from the "Red Shirts", whose protests in 2010 were crushed by the previous government.

Yingluck on Monday told reporters she would neither resign nor dissolve parliament despite the mounting pressure.

But experts said she is running out of room to manoeuvre.

"Yingluck's options are very limited. Something has to give this week. It will be very difficult for Yingluck to stay in office, let alone get anything done," said Thitinan Pongsudhirak, director of the Institute of Security and International Studies at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University.

The Thai capital has faced weeks of opposition-backed rallies sparked by an amnesty bill that could have allowed the return of Thaksin from self-imposed exile.

The amnesty bill -- which was rejected by the upper house of parliament -- also angered Thaksin's supporters because it would have pardoned those responsible for the 2010 military crackdown on their rallies.

Former premier Abhisit Vejjajiva -- now the opposition leader -- and his deputy Suthep face murder charges for overseeing the military operation, which involved soldiers firing live rounds and backed by armoured vehicles.

In another blow to the government, the Constitutional Court last week blocked the ruling party's plans for a fully elected Senate.

The opposition Democrat Party is seeking to raise the pressure on Yingluck with a no-confidence debate on Tuesday -- although her party dominates the lower house and should comfortably defeat a move against her.

Thaksin, a billionaire telecoms tycoon-turned-politician, draws strong support from many of the country's rural and urban working class, but is loathed by the elite and the middle classes, who accuse him of being corrupt and a threat to the monarchy.

"Yingluck, Thaksin, their party and their corrupt system must go this week," demonstrator Thanabhum Prompraphan, 50, told AFP.

"This is real people power. We will stay peaceful... whistles are our weapons," he said.

A series of protests by the royalist "Yellow Shirts" helped to trigger the coup that toppled Thaksin, who now lives in self-imposed exile in Dubai to avoid a prison term for corruption that he contends was politically motivated.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 85, is widely revered in Thailand but has been in ill-health for several years and the palace has been silent over the organisation of his eventual succession.

- AFP/ir

Reach Southeast Asia!
10- Nations, 560- Million Consumers
And $1 -Trillion Market
We are the Voice of Southeast Asia Media Kit
The only Media Dedicated to Southeast Asia Advertising Rates for Magazine
Online Ad Rates

Comment on this Article. Send them to

Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below

Today's  Stories   26 November 2013 Subsribe Now !
• Thai PM extends olive branch to anti-govt protesters Subcribe: Asean Affairs Global Magazine
• Anti-govt protesters marching to 13 sites across Bangkok Asean Affairs Premium
• Thai anti-government protesters occupy finance ministry
Research Reports
on Thailand 2007-2008

• Textiles and Garments Industry
• Coffee industry
• Leather and footwear industry
• Shrimp industry

• Vietnam welcomes investors from India
• Philippine gov’t declares coastlines no-build zones
Asean Analysis          26 November  2013 Advertise Your Brand
• Asean Analysis-November 26, 2013
ASEAN and the Rise of Tourism in Cambodia
Asean Stock Watch     25  November  2013
• The Biweekly Update  November 15, 2013 • Asean Stock Watch-November 25, 2013

ASEAN NEWS UPDATES      Updated: 04 January 2011

 • Women Shariah scholars see gender gap closing
• Bank Indonesia may hold key rate as inflation hits 7 percent
• Bursa Malaysia to revamp business rules
• Private property prices hit new high in Singapore • Bangkok moves on mass transport
• Thai retailers are upbeat
• Rice exports likely to decline • Vietnamese PM projects 10-year socioeconomic plan


This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






1.  Verifier

1. Verifier

For security purposes, we ask that you enter the security code that is shown in the graphic. Please enter the code exactly as it is shown in the graphic.
Your Code
Enter Code

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Special Feature | Features | News | Magazine | Events | TV | Press Release | Advertise With us

| Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy  | DISCLAIMER |

Version 5.0
Copyright © 2006-2017 TIME INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Bangkok, Thailand