Suthep Thaugsuban, leader of the protesters, during a protest on January 19. Opposition has been protesting for months to bring down the caretaker government led by Yingluck Shinawatra. Photo: Scanpix

Protests in Thailand escalate

By Ronja Pilgaard

BANGKOK,THAILAND – Protests in Thailand are escalating. More than 10,000 demonstrators from the opposition have now been protesting for months.

Thousands of protesters seeking to oust Thai Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, surrounded the government’s headquarters in Bangkok, Monday, while hundreds of farmers have breached razor-wire barricades outside her temporary office in another part of the capital.

Police have been ordered to exercise restraint and avoid using force, However,deadly gun battles erupted Tuesday after police moved into several locations around the city to remove protesters.

Four protesters and a police officer were killed during huge clashes between the police and demonstrators, while over 60 were injured, according to new information released by the Erawan emergency center on Wednesday. Police said 24 officers were among those hurt.

Court orders no violence

After the violent clashes on Tuesday, a Thai court ordered the government on Wednesday to not use force against protesters who are seeking the Prime Minister’s resignation.

Wednesday morning, demonstrators from the opposition of the Thai government surrounded the headquarters of the Prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatras.

The opposition wants to prevent the top leaders of the country from enteringthe offices of The Ministry of Defence, where the temporary headquaters is situated. The Prime Minister and Cabinet ministers stayed away from their temporary offices on Wednesday to prevent further tensions, the military said.

“If Yingluck still comes to work here we will come every day,” said Suthep Thaugsuban, leader of the protesters to the Jakarta Globe.

Right of the people

For months ten thousand protesters have demanded that the Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra step down and leave power to a temporary public council.

”It’s not violence. It’s the right of the people in the constitution,” a local Thai protester told CNN on Tuesday.

Thailand has been without a fully functioning government since December, when Yingluck Shinawatras called an election in a bid to end the protests.

Political unrest has wracked Thailand since 2006, when Yingluck’s brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was ousted by a military coup following accusations of corruption and abuse of power.