Thai Red-Shirt Protest Leaders Surrender

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thai anti-government "red-shirt" leaders surrendered today after armored vehicles rammed through camp barricades and took over the encampments where they, along with thousands of protesters, have been living for months. Nearly a dozen people are dead and dozens have been wounded from today's heavy military gunfire.

Protest leaders urged their followers to give up. “We cannot resist against these savages anymore,” leader Jatuporn Prompan told protesters, according to The New York Times. “Please listen to me! Brothers and sisters, I will use the word 'beg.' I beg you. We have to end this for now.”

The BBC reports that even after the military stormed the Bangkok encampment, there's widespread looting and rioting going on in the Thai capital. For the first time since 1992, the Thai government has set an 8 p.m. overnight curfew in Bangkok. Earlier in the day, protesters set several buildings on fire, including the stock exchange, a shopping center and a TV station.

The red-shirt protests have been the deadliest in Thailand in nearly two decades. More than 40 people have died in the clashes in the past week.

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

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