State of emergency in Thailand

Protesters break into Parliament compound

A state of emergency has been declared in Bangkok. On Wednesday, anti-government protesters broke into Thailand’s Parliament building, forcing top government officials to flee by helicopter. This follows weeks of demonstrations by the “Red Shirts,” a protest group that draws heavily from the urban and rural poor—and that is likely financed by Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister who was ousted in a 2006 coup. “The Red Shirts were very crazy and yelling. We didn’t know whether they would use violence,” said one Thai police sergeant. Mr. Thaksin’s supporters are demanding that prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva resign; it is believed that if an election were to be held today, Thaksin’s party would form a majority government. The state of emergency allows the military to suspend a number of civil liberties.

New York Times

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