05 Dec 2013 09:00
Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of the Thai capital since the
beginning of November. A draft amnesty bill discussed by the Parliament last 4th of November was the trigger of the onset of protests. The so-called reconciliation bill was aimed to grant amnesty to people guilty of political crimes during Thailand’s political turmoil (2005-2010), giving pardon almost to anyone facing charges arising during that time.
The Democrat Party, main opposition and leader of the protests, believed that the bill was aimed to allow Mr Thaksin to return to Thailand without having to serve a jail sentence. The former premier, in self-imposed exile since his conviction on corruption charges , was ousted in a coup in 2006. Mr Thaksin, the prime minister’s elder brother, is one of the most polarizing figures in Thailand.
Even though the controversial amnesty bill has been rejected by thailand’s Senate, the anti-government protesters, led by a former opposition Democratic Party lawmaker, remain in the streets. Now protesters want the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to step down. Initially protests were taking place peacefully, with crowds blowing whistles as a distinctive. Lately, protests turned violent with clashes against police and between both groups: anti-government protesters and red-shirts.
After two years of relative peace, Thailand face again a political and social crisis. A social rupture with an uncertain outcome.
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Photos and Text by: Biel Calderon