Friday, October 31, 2014 19:32

Red shirt Thai protesters disrupt summit, state of emergency called

Monday, April 13, 2009, 2:04
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Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva canceled a weekend ASEAN summit and has declared a state of emergency for Bangkok and five provinces after thousands of anti-government protesters stormed a summit venue on Saturday. 100,000 red-shirt protesters filled the streets of Bangkok earlier this week, demanding Abhisit step down. Rioters support former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, deposed for corruption, whose populist policies had widespread appeal amongst poor rural voters. Leaders from the ten member ASEAN and Japan, China, South Korea, Australia, India and New Zealand had gathered in Thailand’s south to discuss unified response to economic recession, free trade and North Korea. Just under five months ago rival protesters, Thai royalists, took over airports for a week, forcing the former pro-Thaksin government’s downfall. Some analysts say the two groups of rioters have such opposing views that a low-grade civil war could break out. Commentary in the Thai national paper, The Nation, sums it up as “an-eye-for-an-eye showdown.” “You fight for democracy that rejects corrupt politicians, we can fight for democracy that respects the voices of the poor.”

Round two: everyone loses, The Nation
Thai summit halted amid protests, WSJ
Political turmoil spreads to Asia summit site, Jakarta Post
Thailand declares emergency, cancels Asian summit, AP/Yahoo

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