It’s the world’s most popular tourist destination and now, it’s under a government-imposed 60-day state of emergency.
For more two months, protesters in Bangkok have staged massive demonstrations demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. (Via Channel 4)
The government has now responded with this state of emergency giving the country’s security forces wide ranging powers, allowing them to detain people without charging them, impose curfews and ban political gatherings of more than five people. Via ITN)
The decree comes as violence has increased significantly. Most recently, a pair of bombings injured at least 28 during an anti-government rally over the weekend. (Via RT)
The protests were triggered back in October by Yingluck's attempt to pass a now-shelved amnesty bill that would opened the door for the return of her brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. He was ousted in a military coup eight years ago, and now lives in Dubai to avoid corruption charges. (Via World Economic Forum / Moritz Hager, U.S. Department of Defense / Helene C. Stikkel)
Protesters accuse Yingluck of essentially running a puppet government for her brother. They want to get rid of her and replace her with an unelected council to fight corruption.
In a bid to pacify the protesters, Yingluck dissolved the parliament and called for new elections to be held in February — though she’s widely expected to win and the opposition party has already said it will boycott. (Via NTD-TV)
And as the violence on the streets has grown, so too has talk of a coup.
Time points out Thailand has had 18 coups since 1932 — prompting fears the army may again get involved should there be any more bloodshed.
Now so far, the army hasn’t taken sides. The army chief has downplayed reports of an impending coup, though he hasn’t entirely ruled it out either. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Government of Thailand)
Nine people have been killed and more than 450 people have been injured in the protests which began in early November.