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Thai politics Thailand

Thailand update: Drone footage provides vivid views of yesterday’s clashes

Last week I wrote a story for Quartz about the increasing use of drone journalism here in Bangkok amid ongoing protests.

At that time, Thai media outlets and others were using the devices to photograph demonstrations around Democracy Monument.

Protests have escalated in recent days, and the drones are providing some vivid footage.

Today Bangkok Pundit linked to two videos that are worth checking out.

Here’s the first, embedded below and on YouTube here, from 3:20 p.m.

And here’s the second, embedded below and on YouTube here, from 6 p.m.

The videos show protesters at a gate leading to Government House. Throughout the day, as you can see, demonstrators tried to breach barriers that the police had set up. Police, time and again, repelled them with tear gas and water cannons.

Meanwhile, I took in the scene in from a pedestrian walkway several hundred meters away; it’s the walkway the drone passes over at about the 2:55 mark in the second video.

Here’re some photos I snapped as tear gas sent protesters scurrying away from the gate that afternoon and early evening.

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And here’s an image of a wounded protester being trucked away.

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As for the latest today, here are some stories worth checking out. In short, the protests continue. And Yingluck says she’s not stepping down.

As ever, follow me on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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Thai politics Thailand

Thailand update: Protesters target state telecoms — and suspected Red Shirts

The AP reports:

A mob of anti-government protesters attacked at least two people they suspected of supporting the current Thai government and smashed the windows of a moving Bangkok bus Saturday in the first eruption of violence after a week of tense street protests.

The mob also smashed the windshield of a taxi carrying people wearing red shirts, a sign of government support.

The violence erupted when the crowd of more than 1,000 people led by university students who oppose the government tried to block people from entering a stadium where supporters of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra were holding a rally.

Embedded above and on YouTube here is a short clip of what appears to the incident in which demonstrators attacked the bus.

Earlier in the day, the anti-government demonstrators rallied at two state-run telecommunications agencies, CAT Teleom and and TOT. Here’s an AP story, and one from Reuters.

Meanwhile, more and more Red Shirts have been gathering at Rajamangala Stadium.

Here’s a photo @caldeiradasilva posted at about 7:30 p.m. tonight:

And finally, a Wall Street Journal story today looks at whether or not the army might stage a coup. The answer, according to analysts, is: probably not.

“The army has learned its lesson from the coup in 2006 and the Red Shirt protests in 2010,” said Panitan Wattanayakorn, a professor at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University and spokesman in a previous, anti-Thaksin government. “Meddling with politics has cost it support.”

As for tomorrow, protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban has announced plans to target Government House — the prime minister’s offices — and other locations such as police headquarters and various ministries.

For the latest, follow me on Twitter, and see my Bangkok journalists Twitter list.

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Thai politics Thailand

Here are 3 maps that show where Bangkok protests are happening—for now, at least

Anti-government protesters have been ratcheting up their rallies in recent days. It’s a fluid situation: Demonstrators often move to various locations in the city throughout the day.

Yesterday they targeted the Police headquarters; today they forced their way into the Army’s HQ.

It can be hard, especially for those not familiar with the geography of the Thai capital, to visualize where these events are occurring. Here are a few maps that should help.

To date, most of the rallies have been happening near Bangkok’s downtown/old city area, with some also taking place near various lower Sukhumvit Road intersections. Of course, that could change at any time.

This map comes via a BBC story yesterday.

2013 11 28 bkk protests map

Meanwhile, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has been providing daily updates and maps. Here’s yesterday’s:

2013 11 29 bangkok protests map

And finally, as I’ve mentioned before, Richard Barrow (@richardbarrow) maintains a map on Google Maps, though it looks like this one hasn’t been updated in a few days.


View Protest Areas in Bangkok in November 2013 in a larger map

For updates as the situation develops, check out previous post about how to follow the protest news.

And if you have any maps to share, please let me know on Twitter.

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Thai politics Thailand

Thailand protest update: demonstrations move beyond Bangkok

Just briefly: A few stories worth checking out today:

For ongoing updates, keep an eye on The Bangkok Post, The Nation, and Thailand-related stories available by searching Google News. And as I mentioned in a previous post, I suggest checking out my Bangkok journalists Twitter list for more.

Categories
Thai politics Thailand

Bangkok protests update: November 26

2013 11 26 front pages

Above: today’s WSJ Asia and International New York Times

A quick update, following yesterday’s post, as protests continue here in Bangkok.

What happened today:

The protesters don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon

The AP reported:

On Tuesday, the main protest group appeared to have converted the Finance Ministry into its headquarters, and declared Tuesday a “rest day,” as protesters erected tents in the parking lot.

And journalist Patrick Winn Tweeted:

The US issued a statement

The statement, posted on the US Embassy in Bangkok’s Web site, says:

The U.S. Government is concerned about the rising political tension in Thailand and is following the ongoing demonstrations in Bangkok closely. We urge all sides to refrain from violence, exercise restraint, and respect the rule of law. Violence and the seizure of public or private property are not acceptable means of resolving political differences.

We call upon all sides to uphold international norms that guarantee freedom of the press and the safety of journalists. The United States firmly believes all parties should work together to resolve differences through peaceful dialogue in ways that strengthen democracy and rule of law.

As long-time friends of Thailand, we strongly support the Thai nation and its people during this period.

Sample rhetoric

Below: an image snapped by photojournalist George Henton at a protest site. He Tweeted:

A translation, via Kaewmala on Twitter, is as follows:

“Ungrateful Traitors, cohorts of the evil Khmer Hu Sen, destroy the nation. Death only punishment”

Stay tuned.

As ever, follow me on Twitter for updates.