Connect with us

Thailand

Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Yingluck leaves Bangkok as bombs, gunfire punctuate unrest

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

image
image
PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Thai PM leaves Bangkok as bombs, gunfire punctuate unrest
Phuket Gazette/ Reuters
PHUKET: Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the target of anti-government protesters who have blocked parts of Bangkok for weeks, has left the city and is staying 150 km away, her office said on Monday, without specifying the location.

The protests, punctuated by occasional gunfire and bomb blasts, including one on Sunday which killed a woman and a young brother and sister, are aimed at unseating Yingluck and erasing the influence of her brother, ousted ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, regarded by many as the real power behind the government.

Yingluck’s office told reporters she was not in Bangkok and asked media to follow a convoy outside the city where they said Yingluck was “undertaking official duties” 150 km away.

The office would not confirm how many days Yingluck had been working from outside the capital. She was last seen in public in Bangkok nearly a week ago, last Tuesday, and is due to attend a corruption hearing there on Thursday.

Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said Yingluck would hold a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

“It is highly likely that we will hold the cabinet meeting outside of Bangkok. As for the prime minister’s exact whereabouts today, I have not been informed about her location,” Surapong told reporters.

The political crisis, which pits the mainly middle-class anti-government demonstrators from Bangkok and the south against supporters of Yingluck from the populous rural north and northeast, shows no sign of ending soon.

Protesters, who disrupted and boycotted this month’s general election, have been urged by their leader to target businesses linked to Thaksin and gathered outside a television station on Monday managed by Thaksin’s son.

They also headed for the foreign and finance ministries.

The Election Commission had said it would try to complete the election process in late April, but has since suspended that date pending a court decision, leaving the country in political limbo under a caretaker government with limited powers.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for Sunday’s bomb blast in a busy shopping district, but the polarisation of Thai society raises the possibility of wider civil strife.

The six-year-old sister of a boy killed in the attack died on Monday, doctors said, taking the death toll to three.

Each side has accused the other of instigating violence, while armed provocateurs have a history of trying to stir tension. Protesters and the police have also blamed violence on shadowy third parties.

Yingluck said Sunday’s attack, and one on Saturday in the eastern province of Trat in which a five-year-old girl was killed, were terrorism.

“I strongly condemn the use of violence in recent days … since the lives of children were lost,” she said on Facebook.

“The violent incidents are terrorist acts for political gains without regard for human life.”

The U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) urged protest leaders and parents to protect children by keeping them away from protest sites.

Four protesters and a police officer were killed last Tuesday when police tried to reclaim protest sites near government buildings.

The protests are the biggest since deadly political unrest in 2010, when Thaksin’s “red shirt” supporters paralysed Bangkok in an attempt to remove a government led by the Democrat Party, now the main opposition party.

More than 90 people were killed and 2,000 wounded during that unrest which ended when troops moved in to disperse the protests.

Demonstrators accuse Thaksin of nepotism and corruption and say that, prior to being toppled by the army in 2006, he used taxpayers’ money for populist subsidies such as a rice subsidy scheme and easy loans that bought him the loyalty of millions.

Rice farmers, angry at not being paid under the current rice scheme, called off a protest tractor drive to Bangkok’s main airport on Friday after an assurance they would get their money this week.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand11 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Legalized gambling in Thailand? PM reveals his Omicron policy stance | Dec 3

South11 hours ago

All 23 districts declared as disaster zones in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Bangkok11 hours ago

Police face criticism over plans to buy millions of baht worth of tear gas and riot gear

advertiseadvertise
Thailand11 hours ago

Tourism minister tells the public “not to worry” about Omicron

Malaysia11 hours ago

Malaysia reports first case of Omicron variant

Thailand11 hours ago

Thai Immigration launches online 90 day report system

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Visa12 hours ago

10-year long term visa scheme takes a step forward, measures approved by PM

Thailand12 hours ago

Pilot seriously injured in F-5 fighter jet crash in Lop Buri

Southeast Asia13 hours ago

Taiwan sets up nighttime vaccination spots with gifting plans

Tourism13 hours ago

Maya Bay reopening likely to be postponed | VIDEO

Contract Package14 hours ago

Thai AirAsia X seeks for new investors as flights to resume next year

Thailand14 hours ago

Government to set up committee to consider opening casinos in Thailand

Southeast Asia14 hours ago

Detained Cambodian monk with refugee status says he could jailed if deported from Thailand

Thailand14 hours ago

Wildlife officials search for Bengal tiger roaming across three provinces

Thailand14 hours ago

CCSA criticises newspaper’s ‘hunt for Africans’ story, clarifies efforts to track travellers

Thailand3 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism9 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending