Originally published on November 29, 2013
More than 1,000 Thai protesters gathered outside the national army headquarters in Bangkok, urging the military to join the campaign to topple the government headed by Yingluck Shinawatra on Friday (November 29).
Protesters reportedly broke the padlocked gate of the headquarters, marched into the compound and cut off electricity supply. But they merely listened to speeches on the lawn outside, and made no attempt to to break into any buildings. Crowds later dispersed without any confrontation.
The anti-government rallies have already lasted for five days. A march on Sunday recorded a turnout of 100,000, while the finance ministry has been under siege since Monday. The foreign ministry, the agriculture ministry and the interior ministry have been occupied by protesters at various point.
The protests were triggered by a controversial amnesty bill proposed by current Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra that was passed by the lower house on November. Critics believe that her brother Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister who fled the country in 2008 and currently living in Dubai, could return to the country without serving any time in jail.
The Senate rejected the bill on November 11 in the end, but it did not stop protesters from staging demonstrations.
The nation remains divided over Thaksin Shinawatra, who fell into disgrace because of corruption. He is still wildly popular in the rural area.
Political instability has cast a shadow on the Thai economy. Protests in 2008 and 2010 disrupted the economy, the business and tourism sectors in particular.
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