Bangkok gripped by pro-Thaksin protests

Bangkok gripped by pro-Thaksin protests

On the second day of mass demonstrations against PM Abhisit, the marchers vow to halt regional summit, while taxis block the streets in Bangkok.

Photo by:


Supporters of Thailand's ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra shout slogans during a demonstration Thursday in front of Government House in Bangkok. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has refused to resign, pitting his shaky coalition government against tens of thousands of protesters. 

BANGKOK - Thai protesters threatened Thursday to stop a summit of Asian leaders going ahead this weekend, opening up a new front on the second day of mass street rallies against Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Abhisit's four-month-old government faces its biggest challenge after more than 100,000 loyal supporters of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra gathered Wednesday in Bangkok to demand that he quit office and call fresh elections.

Police said about 25,000 protesters were left Thursday outside the house of a royal aide whom they accuse of orchestrating the 2006 coup that toppled Thaksin, as well as at Abhisit's office and Bangkok's royal plaza.

The demonstrators later vowed to target the coastal resort town of Pattaya, where leaders from ASEAN and partners, including China and Japan, are due to meet.

"If we have to shut down the whole town then we have to, and it's a warning to friendly countries that the meeting may not happen," protest leader Nattawut Saikuar told reporters in Bangkok.

Security has been beefed up in Pattaya for the April 10-12 meet since Thaksin's so-called "Red Shirts" attacked Abhisit's motorcade in the town on Tuesday, smashing one of its windows.

Photo by:

On the second day of mass demonstrations against PM Abhisit, the marchers vow to halt regional summit, while taxis block the streets in Bangkok

The summit has already been postponed from December, when protesters opposed to the previous, pro-Thaksin government shut down Bangkok's airports.

Those protests ended when a court forced Thaksin's allies from government, allowing British-born Abhisit to come to power but triggering a furious reaction from the billionaire's supporters.

Abhisit has reassured foreign leaders there would be no further disruption to the summit and remains defiant.

"I will not resign," he told reporters in Bangkok before travelling to Pattaya. "This is not the game, they cannot play like this... If they are sincere, the government is open to political reform."

Around 5,000 police and 2,000 soldiers have deployed to the resort, officials said.

In Bangkok, tensions escalated Thursday when about 100 taxi drivers sympathetic to Thaksin left their vehicles and blocked a key intersection in response to an appeal on the Red Shirt movement's radio station.

Traffic jams several kilometres long built up at the capital's Victory Monument. The government said it was negotiating with the cabbies but would use lifting equipment to remove the vehicles if the talks failed.


  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman