Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Violence continues unabated in Bangkok

World News
Violence continues unabated in Bangkok
2010-05-14 06:14:28 - Nksagar: New Delhi- May 14,2010
Bangkok Capital City Thailand, violence continues unabated, Thai Red Shirt protester was shot dead during a clash on Thursday night in Bangkok between anti-government demonstrators and security forces. Police said, Major General Prawut Thavornsiri, spokesman for the police special task force, told AFP that during the clash between Red Shirts and security forces, one man was shot in the head and killed.

Police later confirmed that one person had died while emergency services reported that eight people had been injured in the latest violent clashes.
Major-General Khattiya Sawasdipol, a key figure in the protest movement, was also shot in the head and seriously wounded while he was giving an interview to a newspaper journalist close to the protest hub. At least eight other
people have been injured in the confrontation as troops opened fire on protesters.

United States, in the meantime, closed its embassy in Bangkok and said it is very concerned about the violence between the Thai government and protesters there.A Foreign Office spokeswoman told AFP that the British Embassy in Bangkok will close today amid the violence in the Thai capital.

Thai government suspended its plan to cut water and electricity supplies to anti-government demonstrators camped in a posh central Bangkok neighborhood, heeding pleas from residents and foreign diplomats who live and work there. But it also withdrew its offer to hold elections in November, bringing Thailand's months-old political crisis back to square one, days after it appeared that a compromise was imminent.

The "Red Shirt" protesters believe Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's coalition government came to power illegitimately through manipulation of the courts and the backing of the powerful military, and have been demanding new elections in street rallies since 12th March. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva after accepting to hold elections withdrew that offer. He also called General Khattiya a terrorist. Khattiya, regularly seen inspecting Red Shirt guards at the protest site, which has been fortified with barricades made from razor wire, fuel-soaked tyres, bamboo spears.

The clashes came after the premier shelved a plan for November elections and hopes faded for a resolution to a crippling two-month crisis that has sparked periodic violence, leaving 30 people dead and about 1,000 injured.

Clashes with security forces and other violence have left at least 29 people dead and 1,400 injured.A government blockade of the Red Shirts' barricaded protest zone in central Bangkok was supposed to start on Wednesday midnight, but water and electricity were available as usual Thursday morning in the upscale Rajprasong area.Thousands of Red Shirts protesters are camped on the streets and parks in that area, which is home to several embassies, shopping malls, hospitals and upmarket apartments.

Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd, the spokesman of an agency in charge of suppressing the protest, said late Wednesday that the plan to choke off essential services to the "Red Shirt" demonstrators was put on hold because of the repercussions it would have on other residents.He said European diplomats and others expressed concern to the Bangkok governor that the blockade would affect residents more than the protesters. "We have to assess who is going to face the impact more: the protesters or people living in the area' told The Associated Press.Sansern, said security forces would "not use force at this stage," but left open the possibility of more violence if the protesters refuse to disperse.With the government's tougher tone, chances of a negotiated settlement appeared almost doomed, just days after the two sides had agreed in principle to a reconciliation plan.

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