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Thailand: tensions ease in Bangkok after police allow protesters inside government headquarters


Thailand

Thailand: tensions ease in Bangkok after police allow protesters inside government headquarters

The barricades have been taken down outside government and police headquarters in Bangkok and demonstrators allowed inside.

The move followed clashes over the weekend and on Monday where anti-government protesters tried to storm the prime minister’s office.

The government ordered the removal of the barriers saying it wanted an end to the confrontations and violence. Crowds strolled through the compounds, some shaking hands with police officers before marching away again.

One policeman said: “my orders are to oversee the safety of the protesters and the people who come to peacefully protest.”

Protesters regard it as a partial victory but their leader, Suthep Thaugsuban, said he would continue the fight to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

An anti-government demonstrator said: “we have to fight until we win because the Thaksin regime has been in power since 2005.”

Demonstrators want to replace the government with an unelected ‘People’s Council’ saying it is too influenced by the prime minister’s brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, a former leader now in exile.

However Prime Minister Yingluck enjoys widespread support in the countryside.

She has rejected protesters’ demands that she step down, saying it would be unconstitutional but added she was open to negotiations.

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