» 02/25/2006, 00.00
Thai prime minister declares the dissolution of the parliament and calls election
Thaksin yesterday announced the dissolution of the government and parliament. However, protesters will take to the streets tomorrow too: his resignation is not enough, they want the former prime minister to quit politics for good. Thaksin has been accused of promoting personal interests rather than those of the state.
Bangkok (Asianews) The Thai Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, yesterday announced the dissolution of the government and parliament at 8.30pm local time. His decision came after two rallies were held on 4 and 11 February, attended by tens of thousands of people. The rallies were organized by the People's Alliance for Democracy. The date for the next election was set for 2 April.
However, more nationwide protests against Thaksin have been set for tomorrow: demonstrators are calling on the prime minister to not only the dissolution of the government and parliament but to quit politics for good. Thaksin stands charged with being a leader who did not respect the principles of ethics and justice. A further key problem has been that of "honesty": protesters accuse the ex prime minister of having passed laws favouring his private investments and those of his family, like the sale of the industrial group Shin Corp, which he set up before joining the political fray and which includes a telecommunications giant. The demonstrators, who include professionals from various sectors and students, say they feel capitalism is not a feature which qualifies one to be a democratic leader.
In a bid to limit protests, on 21 February, Chalermchai Mahakitsiri, a collaborator of the Speaker of the Prime Minister's Office, announced the resolution of parliament to allot 200 million Baht (US$ 5 million) to support students, as proposed by Ministry of Education. The speaker of the Prime Minister's Office had also announced the approval to increase the salary of village chiefs and community doctors.
Apparent calm in Bangkok, army patrols streets of capital
The violent clashes yesterday between police and demonstrators caused the deaths of two people, and wounded at least 443 more, some of them seriously. Prime Minister Somchai rejects the idea of his resignation, and accuses the demonstrators of "violence"; the opposition calls him a liar and a "tyrant."
Anti-government demonstrations in militarised Bangkok
The People's Alliance for Democracy leads 8,000 people into the streets, against the 100,000 announced. Demonstrators are asking for the resignation of prime minister Samak, a "tool" of controversial former prime minister Thaksin.
Student movement joins PAD against Sundaravej
Prime minister is under more pressures to resign or dissolve parliament in favour of fresh elections. Senate speaker rejects referendum option.
The truce crumbles clashes between police and demonstrators in Thailand
Activists from the People's Alliance for Democracy (Pad) refuse to move from occupied government offices and continue to demand the premier’s resignation, who yesterday stated his unwillingness to resort to the “use of force”. 15 people are arrested and barricades opened to the occupied zone.
Government protests called off in Thailand
Demonstrators were surrounded by army. Over past few days, 2 protesters have died and over 100 been injured in clashes with security forces. Support for Thaksin begins to waver. Doubts shroud his democratic ideals.
Card. Tong’s article on China-Holy See dialogue, arouses joy and dismay
The Hong Kong bishop’s optimism over a change in the method of appointing bishops and the function of the Patriotic Association. But it is unclear whether it is real change or just nominal, in words. Underground bishops are patriotic and love their country, but the Party is suspicious of them. Freedom in episcopal appointments is “essential", but the bishops are not free to exercise their ministry. Patriotic bishops controlled in their visits with members of the universal Church. The "bugs" (hidden microphones) in a bishop’s office.
Card. Tong: The future of Sino-Vatican dialogue from an ecclesiological point of view
Card. John Tong
The Hong Kong Cardinal outlines the steps that hope to propel dialogue between China and the Holy See. Themes include the Pope's role in the appointment of bishops; A change of vision in the Patriotic Association; the possible integration of the underground bishops in the Episcopal Conference. A new article by card. John Tong, following a previous article published a few months ago on "Communion of the Church in China with the universal Church."
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