Bangkok rallies to resume this year

Bangkok rallies to resume this year

BANGKOK - Opponents of new Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva have vowed they would resume protests in the New Year, after forcing the premier to move the venue of his first policy speech earlier in the week.

Thousands of red-shirted supporters of fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra dispersed overnight Tuesday after blockading parliament for two days to press their demands for fresh elections.

The protesters had prevented Abhisit from giving his maiden, policy address in parliament, and the prime minister had to deliver the speech at the Foreign Ministry instead.

"We will come back after the New Year break," Shinawat Haboonpak, a core pro-Thaksin protest leader, told AFP. "The fight is not over yet, we will not give up."

The pledge raises the threat of 2009 starting with the kind of problems that marred 2008, during which a royalist, anti-Thaksin group called the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) held months of protests against the government.

Abhisit, Thailand's third prime minister in four months, came to power in mid-December after a court barred previous premier Somchai Wongsawat - Thaksin's brother-in-law - from politics for five years.

He said he accepted that protests by Thaksin loyalists may continue but added that if the government was successful then the "protests could not pressure us". AFP

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • 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