Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tensions Continue In Bangkok

Tensions continues in Bangkok today.

As early as 7am, members of The Ratchaprasong Trade Association held a meeting to discuss the situation at the Ratchaprasong area and the effect on their businesses. The association comprisses of 4 shopping malls, six hotels and the President Tower office buildings decided to continue to close for business today. For safety reasons, some companies like Ogilvy and Mather asked their staff to work from home whereas many people who work in the area entered their workplaces via back doors. Meanwhile the government had extended the enforcement of Internal Security Act up to April 20.

In another development, two hand grenades were hurled at the exit road of a Tesco Hypermarket injuring two people. Four ex-PM of Thailand had agreed to meet and find a solution to the present political problems.

However the highlight of today's protest is the seizing of parliament by the Reds. The Reds started to head to the parliament from 10am and by 11am they already managed to block anyone from entering and leaving the parliament. The House meeting which was scheduled to be held at that time was cancelled but by that time everyone including the cabinet ministers were trapped in the parliament compound. The Tourism Minister who was probably late, had to use ladder to climb over the parliament fence to avoid being mobbed by the protesters. Not known to the protesters, Abhisit had already left the parliament compound prior to that. Shortly after, some of the Reds managed to intrude into the parliament compound. Initially the leaders of the Reds denied that storming into the parliament was their plan and accused the Reds who managed to get into the compound were the government "fake reds". However later, the Reds leaders blamed another leader Arisman, accusing him of planning the storming of parliament without prior discussion on getting consent from the rest of the leaders.

By 12.00pm, the Reds stated to leave the parliament and headed to the building of Thaicom Satelite where their D Station is transmitted after hearing that the government sought to block the transmission. As at 5pm, the Reds were still there. At the same time, rumours are rife that the government would declare emergency in Bangkok very soon.

(at the parliament today)

A protester tried to grab a gun from the police

Everyone including ministers were "trapped" inside the parliament compound

This minister had to use ladder to climb over the fence

At and near the Thaicom building

Latest update :

Abhisit has declared state of emergency in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathom after conceded that the Internal Security Act had failed to deter the protests by the Reds. He said that enforcement of the emergency rule will be in accordance with the law and international standard.

After the annoucement of the state of emergency, The red-shirt group declared war against the government after a state of emergency was announced. It encouraged supporters nationwide to lay siege to provincial town halls.