Thai Security Forces Fire at Protestors

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Security forces in Thailand opened fire today at hundreds of protestors headed on motorbikes and in trucks to a rally outside Bangkok.

"We brought force out to stop them," an army spokesperson told The Associated Press. "At this point, society finds it unacceptable to have protesters traveling in a motorcade like this. We try our best to prevent losses."

The BBC reports that one soldier died in the clash and more than a dozen people were injured. The anti-government protestors, known as the "red-shirts," have been protesting and camped out in central Bangkok for six weeks. They want Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to dissolve parliament and call for new elections.

Prime Minister Abhisit has said that's not the solution. "There is a clear threat that if we hold elections too soon, with the mood running as high in terms of divisions and in terms of tension, elections would turn violent," he told The BBC yesterday. "They would solve nothing and we could be back into this vicious cycle of demonstrations."

Thailand's Constitutional Court did make one decision that may appease protestors in the short term. The court said today that it would consider a recommendation by the Electoral Commission to dissolve Prime Minister's Abhisit's ruling Democrat Party over its alleged failure to declare donations in the 2005 election campaign. There's no known date for the decision.

For more WQXR coverage on this story, click here and here.

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