» 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.
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
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