Posted on 2 Sept. 08.

A state of emergency was declared in Bangkok today after eight days of anti-ruling party protests erupted into violence last night leaving one person dead and over forty injured. Our Observer taking part in the protests says that it's the government that is to blame for the chaos.

Camped out in the gardens of the government house for a week, supporters of the royalist and nationalist opposition, the People's Alliance for Democracy, are demanding that Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and his party step down after rumours emerged linking him with previous PM Thaksin Shinawatra, who was toppled in a bloodless coup in 2006. Until yesterday, the protests remained reasonably peaceful, but last night, groups of armed youths emerged, causing chaos in the Thai capital. The government is placing the blame on the royalist protestors and on Monday night deployed 400 troops in riot gear to take control of the situation. Our Observer taking part in the protests however, insists that hired gangs were brought it to cause chaos beforehand so that the government could use a state of emergency to regain control.

Photos posted on Manager Online


Posted 2 Sept. 08 on Thai online magazine See more images on the website here and here.

"The government wanted to impose a state of emergency, and needed someone to die to have the right to do it"

Sirima is a housewife from Bangkok. She's been camped out in protest since Thursday.

There are gangs of people attacking and threatening us. They have weapons - guns and knives. We think they've been hired by the ruling party - the PPP [People's Power Party], to cause chaos and provoke us. They're just youngsters who want alcohol and money - they're drunk. They have no idea about politics.

The person who was shot is someone from our camp, from the opposition [the People's Alliance for Democracy]. Why did they die? Because the government wanted to impose a state of emergency, and needed someone to die to have the right to do it. They did it themselves! Then the media broadcast that someone's died, and it looks as though we're violent, when really we're insisting on non-violence! It's even our doctor who's looking after the injured on both sides!

There are huge numbers of people now. Students, lecturers, masons, farmers from the villages - everyone is joining us. The election committee has said that the ruling party can't resist any more and must step down [the Election Commission recommended Tuesday that the Supreme Court disband his ruling People's Power Party for electoral fraud]. And we will only leave when we've reached our goal. We might not be comfortable here but there's no problem! We share food, we help each other; we're like brothers. And the king is in our hearts. That's who I'm doing this for, I love my king. We cannot and will not bear Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej any longer."