Posts Tagged ‘Bangkok’

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Eight years ago my colleagues and I watched as the streets of Bangkok were covered with blood in one of Thailand’s most violent political confrontations. Yet there is still no justice for the at least 98 people killed and more than 2,000 injured between April and May 2010 – despite compelling evidence that the military was behind most of these abuses.
At the time, the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship – also known as the Red Shirts – held a mass protest against the government of then-Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Human Rights Watch documented how the military used unnecessary and excessive force, especially as the military had designated “live fire zones” around protest sites – where soldiers shot protesters, medics, reporters, and bystanders in cold blood.

Continue reading: Human Rights Watch

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Street sign at Ratchprasong intersection cordoned off, police deployed, McDonald’s at Amarin Plaza to temporary close between 3 pm – 8 pm ahead of plan gathering by “Red Shirt” activists to mark anniversary of 2010 deadly military crackdown

Credit: Panu Wongcha-um

It’s never been easy. Marginalised communities suffer, especially for the past four years, in a state of loss and neglect.

Prosecutors on Monday indicted nine Redshirt leaders on charges of insurrection for leading an anti-government protest nearly a decade ago.

The indictment accused the group of inciting unrest and an open rebellion against the government of Abhisit Vejjajiva in a April 2009 protest, which saw parts of Bangkok occupied for several days. One Redshirt leader named in the indictment said he’s surprised the authorities are pursuing the case after years of silence.

“Of course I am surprised,” Weng Tojirakarn said in an interview. “They questioned me time to time [after the protests], but the matter went completely quiet. Since May and June 2009, they never summoned me again. There was nothing since.”

Weng accused the junta of engineering the indictment as a means to take revenge against his movement.

“Why does it happen in the NCPO era?” Weng said, referring to the junta’s formal name, National Council for Peace and Order. “This means the NCPO has such a devotion in bullying us. Did they carry their vengeance for us from our past lives?”

Continue reading: Khaosod English

More than 300 Thai pro-democracy demonstrators marched to the gates of the army headquarters in Bangkok on Saturday (Mar 24) to call on soldiers to withdraw their support for the government.

It was one of the biggest in a new wave of protests against corruption and the government’s failure to keep to a promised election timetable.

The marchers demanded soldiers end their backing for the government, which took power following a May 2014 coup. But the protesters also said they did not want another military takeover.

“We want a peaceful transition,” Rangsiman Rome, one of the protest leaders, told Reuters. “It’s time for the army and all of Thai society to stop supporting the junta and side with the people.”

Soldiers at the army headquarters declined to respond.

Continue reading: Channel NewsAsia

Protesters pushed past police Saturday evening on a march to army headquarters in Bangkok to demand the military dissolve the ruling junta and hold elections.

In what appeared the largest turnout since protests erupted anew in January, a crowd of several hundred set out from Thammasat University just after 5pm and after about two hours of maneuvering around police managed to march on army headquarters.

“If you continue to get in the way of democracy, then the military will lose more and more of its dignity,” protest leader Rangsiman Rome said over a megaphone at 8:15pm from outside the building.

He added that anyone who sides with the junta is a “traitor to Thailand.”

Continue reading: Khaosod English

It is a side of Bangkok that tourists seldom see: not far from the Buddhist temples, glitzy malls and go-go bars, is a neighbourhood of shacks and squat homes in narrow alleys with open gutters in the city’s oldest and largest slum.

Klong Toey is home to about 100,000 people, mostly rural migrants from northern Thailand who came to the city for jobs.

While many live in brightly painted homes with motorbikes parked outside, others live in shacks without running water or electricity.

It’s not that different from the days when 66-year-old Prateep Ungsongtham was growing up there with her six siblings.

“The number of people living here has doubled since the time I was a kid – yet their condition is not that much better,” she said in an interview at her Duang Prateep Foundation in Klong Toey.

Continue reading: TODAY Online