The Anti-Government Protests In Thailand Have Now Turned Deadly

Four people have died during anti-government protests in Bangkok. Thailand’s police have been ordered to stand down, and now the protestors have swarmed the Prime Minister’s office.

Updated – Dec. 3, 1:20 a.m., ET


Tensions have been high in Bangkok for the last ten days as protestors vowed to take over state offices across the nation in a bid to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. After entering the Foreign Ministry and Finance Ministry, anti-government protestors also managed to get inside the army’s headquarters.

The protesters have now forced their way into the Prime Minister’s office without resistance from the police as they’ve been ordered to stand down. Yingluck Shinawatra was not in her office, which has been locked since Friday.

Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters

Thai police also removed the concrete slabs and barbed wire barricades on the roads leading to the city police headquarters, and agreed to let the protesters enter the building.

Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters

The leader of the protests, Suthep Thaungsuban, has also called for civil servants to go on strike Monday and gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra a two-day deadline to resign.

However, the Prime Minister has rejected their demands, saying it would be unacceptable under the constitution to do so.


“I don’t know how we can proceed… We don’t know how to make it happen. Right now we don’t see any way to resolve the problem under the constitution. If there is any way I can restore peace I am willing to do it. The government does not have to hold on to power we only want peace.”

The protests turned violent last weekend, leading to at least four deaths and dozens of injuries.

Damir Sagolj / Reuters

Two people were reportedly shot on Monday after one person was shot and killed after clashes broke out between rival protesters in Bangkok over the weekend. The BBC reports the altercation took place when pro-government supporters were on their way to a rally, and were attacked by students – shots were later fired.

Thailand’s security chief Paradorn Pattanathabutr confirmed to Reuters on Monday that the police are “alternating between the use of water cannons, teargas and rubber bullets.”

Chaiwat Subprasom / Reuters

He added: “Rubber bullets are being used in one area only and that is the bridge near Government House.”

Rubber bullets RT @bkkbase: RT @Phil_Prajya: 13:33 แยก พล.1 #บชน #nationtv กระสุนยางและรอยช้ำของผู้ชุมนุม

— bangkokpundit (@bangkokpundit)

The AP report that riot police fired tear gas Sunday at the protestors advancing toward the government’s police headquarters.

Chaiwat Subprasom / Reuters

Tear gas fired in Bangkok - photos of continuing anti-government protests: http://t.co/2mJj8XbRHK

— BBCWorld (@BBC News (World))

Police using tear gas again against protesters near Government House @OHcrime_ThaiPBS via @RichardBarrow #Bangkok

— NewsBreaker (@NewsBreaker)

The were also reports of water cannons being used, which has now been confirmed.

In front of Government House. Lots of tear gas, and some water cannon #Bangkok

— dicklp (@Richard Lloyd Parry)

Some have also said police are firing water “mixed with tear gas” to try and get rid of the crowds.

Riot police firing water mixed with tear gas at protesters near Metro Police HQ via @news1005fm #Bangkok

— CoconutsBangkok (@Coconuts Bangkok)

As the protests continue they have become increasingly violent, 2,730 military personnel from the army, navy and air force were reportedly being deployed to help back up police. However, the police were later told to stand down.

Chaiwat Subprasom / Reuters

Despite the unrest, Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra survived a no-confidence vote in parliament last Thursday. The lawmakers of Bangkok voted 297 to 134 in favor of Shinawatra remaining Prime Minister.

Chaiwat Subprasom / Reuters

The AP reports that Foreign Ministry spokesman Sek Wannamethee explained that a group of protestors forced their way onto the compound’s premises last Monday as part of their demonstrations against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration, but promised not to enter the building.

Protest leader, former Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, led the crowd to the Finance Ministry as well, telling demonstrators: “Go up to every floor, go into every room, but do not destroy anything.”

Damir Sagolj / Reuters

Following their leader’s instructions, the protestors went inside the Finance Ministry’s rooms (and took photos):

Anti-government protesters take pictures of themselves inside one of the rooms at Thailand’s Finance Ministry after occupying it in Bangkok on Nov. 25. Damir Sagolj / Reuters

The protestors also scattered about the entryway of the Finance Ministry. According to USA Today, they sang, danced and blew whistles in the hallways. A few took naps.

Damir Sagolj / Reuters

Protestors still occupied the Finance Ministry as of Friday morning.

Kerek Wongsa / Reuters

The protestors also camped out outside the national police headquarters

Damir Sagolj / Reuters

Police have issued an arrest warrant for Thaugsuban but have agreed not to arrest him to avoid clashes with protestors.

Damir Sagolj / Reuters

The protests began after the proposition of a controversial political amnesty bill.

The opposition says the bill would allow the previous Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by the military in 2006 and is also the current prime minster’s brother, to return to Thailand without serving a jail sentence for corruption. Damir Sagolj / Reuters

The legislation failed to pass in the Senate earlier this month, but fresh protests broke out on Sunday, with more than 150,000 demonstrators taking to the streets of Bangkok, calling for the end of the “Thaksin regime.”

Anti-government protesters march toward Thailand’s Finance Ministry in Bangkok on Nov. 25. Chaiwat Subprasom / Reuters

Thirteen different locations were swarmed with protestors, including the army and air force headquarters, and several TV networks.


Outside Bangkok’s Metropolitan Police Bureau, protesters faced off with riot police outfitted with tear gas and a water cannon. Although the protesters ripped down a barbed wire barricade, they did not continue further.

Anti-government protesters remove razor wire at the police barricade. Kerek Wongsa / Reuters

However, the number of protestors has decreased as the weeks have gone on. There are reportedly far less demonstrators on the streets now as compared with the 100,000 plus that were in Bangkok when the protests started on Sunday:

PICTURES: Thai anti-government protesters stage major rally in #Bangkok http://t.co/VWMHvoqOFE

— STcom (@The Straits Times)

A statement from officials likened the occupation to terrorism and treason.

Damir Sagolj / Reuters

According to the BBC, 40,000 government supporters also held a separate rally in another part of Bangkok on Sunday.

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