See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Thailand: Protest blockade ends in violence

The attempt of the Thailand military to blockade the Red Shirt protest camp in Bangkok ended in violence with 16 people dead and hundreds injured. Liveblog reports are available through Jotman, GJBKK Blog, Bangkok Pundit, Political Prisoners in Thailand. Journalists like Dan Rivers, Andrew Marshall, and Terry Fredrickson are also providing situation updates in Bangkok through twitter.

The Thai Report has provided a timeline of what happened in Bangkok in the past 24 hours

08:45 – Seh Daeng (Red Shirt general) still alive, in critical condition…
08:50 – Taxis block Wittiyu intersection…
09:30 – Homemade rockets fired at helicopter…
12:00 – Red shirts descend on Ubon in Northeast province…
12:15 – Teargas used on protesters…
12:30 – Large numbers of troops moving in…
12:30 – Clashes intensify, bus burns…
13:10 – Gunfire around Lumpini…
15:00 – Thaksin (former Prime Minister) calls for ceasefire…
15:00 – Troops clash with protesters using live bullets…
15:30 – Foreign journalist shot…
16:15 – Volleys of gunfire…
17:00 – Explosions and heavy gunfire…
18:00 – Car with gas canister bomb explodes…
18:45 – M79 grenades at BTS Saladaeng…
18:45 – Protester shot dead on Rama IV…
19:30 – Sniper attack on red shirt stage…
20:45 – Government defends itself on national TV…
20:45 – Operations will continue until protesters gone…
21:30 – “I can confirm that the army was the only one firing gunshots”…
21:30 – More gunshots and explosion…
00:00 – Molotovs light up Bangkok night…
00:45 – Teenager shot for entering restricted road…
07:30 – UN Chief calls for end to violence…
08:15 – Violence escalating at Saladaeng…
08:30 – Gunfire begins again…
08:30 – 4 dead bodies disappear…
09:00 – Grenade explosion at Lumpini…
09:15 – First casualty this morning…
10:00 – Red leaders call for reinforcements…

Government spokespersons conducted a press conference to defend the actions of the military. Via Bangkok Pundit, the government claimed that…

Protests are illegal so authorities are able to act. Govt has tried to negotiate, but reds refused to continue. The reconciliation has failed because of Thaksin's interference.

As there are some protesters using weapons, the situation has resulted in people dying, injuries, and damage. We have blockaded protest. We have not yet entered the protest area. The troops do not intend to move in for crackdown, but just to increase pressure so rally will end. However, the protesters have used weapons. Troops have to protect themselves. Troops did not use weapons initially, but after coming under attack, they have had to. Rules on use of weapons have been set Rules of engagement we have set are clear, only in air, at terrorists and in self-defense. Operations will continue.

The Red Shirts have been protesting in the streets for the two months already. They are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva whom they accuse of being illegitimate and undemocratic. They also want the Prime Minister to dissolve the parliament and call for new elections. There were negotiations to settle the protest peacefully but they bogged down a few days ago.

Giles Ji Ungpakorn, a Red Shirt supporter, reports that clashes are also occurring in the provinces

Sporadic clashes are occurring in Bangkok and the provinces. The Government is desperately trying to cling to power by murdering pro-democracy demonstrators. Splits are appearing in the security forces with reports of some police or army units returning fire with the advancing troops. This is indeed a civil war situation and the Government cannot hope to control the situation.

Red Shirts are determined to stand firm. Millions of people are extremely angry with the Government, the military and the Monarchy.

New Mandala writes about the prospect of the Red Shirt protest

It occurs to us that one issue which is probably crucial to the immediate outcome of this dangerous new phase is the capacity and willingness of the Reds to reinforce their numbers at the main encampment or to spread protests to other strategic sites in Bangkok, or throughout the country. Of course, they may not get such a chance. Word coming from central Bangkok right now is that more shooting and explosions can be heard.

Twitter comments about the fresh wave of violence which erupted in Bangkok

thai101 The army's ‘containment’ operation has spread the fighting all over central Bangkok now. Mind bogglin
jonrussell RT @terryfrd: Jatuporn: Thanks heroes who are risking lives coming to help them. Very close to civil war now. Doesn't know how it end.
newley At just before 8 a.m. here in Bangkok, I'm not hearing any explosions or sirens. But I heard ambulances as late as 3 a.m. #Thailand
ohohcita RT @itzco: Rights 2 protest ends in other ppl right to live & work, army is the society tool 2 restore order. blame only urselves #redshirts
WizardofWindsor 2.the #redshirts have fought only with their bare hands and helmets, the govt is the one using M79s
thesongdej RT @bkkbase: In a normal country isn't this when the leader appears on TV and appeals for calm and reconcilliation? #redshirts
Justin_Dupre More fighting, more traffic, more deaths in BKK. Unfortunate it had to come to this, but we all saw it coming, didn't we? #redshirts

For more background about the Red Shirt protest, read also

Thailand: Citizen videos of violent clash
Thailand: Bloggers document violent clashes
Thailand: “Bloody” Tuesday?

11 comments

  • Seamus DeBuitlear

    Why can’t the Army just spray the protesters with “SALT WATER”?
    It is not dangerous in any way an it would clear them without anyloss of life.

  • Bob

    I am here in Bangkok as a tourist visiting. All who love Thailand are pained by what is going on. I have been practicing silence and meditation for the last 24 years. Here is a solution from my “inner self” which I humbly offer the world to consider. Read the whole thing before passing judgement. If you dont like it ignore it. If it appeals to you, pass it on to those who matter especially General Anupong, the US, Britain, Russia, China, France and Germany. This is urgent before thousands of women and children get killed by the Thai Army under orders of the CRES headed by Suthep and authorised by PM Abhisit. This is the beginning of a tragic Genocide unless we find a solution acceptable to all. Remember the Genocide in Rwanda, Serbia and Sudan and how we promised never again. How we wished we had acted earlier. General Anupong seems to be a good man. He has been most reluctant to use force even under tremendous pressure from Gen.Prem and Suthep. That is why I am suggesting the following.__1.General Anupong, Army Chief should take over TEMPORARILY in a BLOODLESS COUP. PM Abhisit, Deputy PM Suthep, Gen. Prem, the President of the Privy Council, Foreign Minister Kasit and others are put under temporary house arrest and charged with attempting Genocide and killing of their own people.__2. He should immediately announce the dates for election in October to Parliament. __3. Then to rectify and undo the damage caused to democracy in Thailand by the military coup of 2006 which illegally deposed Thaksin, the former PM could be invited to head an Interim Government. Thaksin becomes Prime Minister. __4. The Interim Government will be Bi-Partisan and All-Party and include Ahisit as Deputy PM, Suthep as Foreign Minister, Sondhi of ASTV/Yellow Shirts as Interior Minister, Gen. Anupong as Defense Minister etc. You will have the Peau Thai, the Democrats, the Red Shirts and the Yellow Shirts in the Government.__5. A Royal pardon is given and general amnesty declared for all including Thaksin for corruption, Abhisit for attempting Genocide on his own people, Gen.Khattiya, the Red Shirt protestors, the Yellow shirt protestors who face cases for their earlier protests, Kasit for abetting in the heinous take over of the Suvarnabhoom Airport etc.__6. A National Standing Panel of highly respected and impartial Thais should be set up to mediate all future disputes. Their recommendations will be final and binding on all parties. However they should be men and women of integrity, known for their honesty and not belonging to any party. There should also be adequate representation from the rural areas.__7. All parties would be required to sign up for an All-Party coalition for the next 15 years. Yes elections will be conducted every five years but the Goveernment will be a a Bi-partisan and All-Party National Reconciliation Government. The party which gets the most number of seats will head the Government of National Reconciliation.__8. All acts of the military coup are to be rescinded and overturned. Thaksin’s money seized by the Supreme Court (appointed by the military coup leaders) should be returned to him. A new impartial Supreme Court should be appointed and if that rules that the money was illegally made then law should take its course and the money may be seized.__9. The Red Shirts should immediately disperse. Amnesty and safe passage would be offered to ALL of them.__10. As everyone is in Government, all agitations and protests should be avoided for the next 15 years. Inorder to ensure genuine opposition in Parliament, MPs would be allowed to speak as per their conscience and not by the Party line.

  • […] Global Voices in English » Thailand: Protest blockade ends in violence Categories: Other Tags: available-through, bangkok, bangkok-pundit, blockade-the-red, gjbkk, […]

  • […] the rest here: Global Voices in English » Thailand: Protest blockade ends in violence Categories: Other Tags: available-through, bangkok, bangkok-pundit, blockade-the-red, gjbkk, […]

  • […] Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva will not back down as he ordered the military to continue the operations against Red Shirt protesters in Bangkok. Abhisit insists the violent dispersal of protesters is […]

  • Photos of the violence: http://www.ridingouttheeconomy.com/?p=2297

  • […] thaïlandais Abhisit Vejjajiva ne cédera pas : il a ordonné aux militaires de continuer leurs interventions contre les chemises rouges à Bangkok. Abhisit soutient que la violente répression  est […]

  • […] tailandese Abhisit Vejjajiva non sembra voler cedere, avendo ordinato ai militari di continuare le operazioni [in] controle Camicie Rosse a Bangkok. Abhisit insiste sul fatto che le violenze contro i […]

  • […] tailandese Abhisit Vejjajiva non sembra voler cedere, avendo ordinato ai militari di continuare le operazioni [in] contro le Camicie Rosse a Bangkok. Abhisit insiste sul fatto che le violenze contro i […]

  • […] Abhisit Vejjajiva menolak untuk menyerah dan memerintahkan kekuatan militer untuk melanjutkan serangan melawan demonstran Kaus Merah di Bangkok. Abhisit bersikeras bahwa pembubaran demonstran […]

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site