Archive for the ‘protest’ Category

Thai Government Brought Down!

December 2, 2008

After months of drama, standoff, protests and violence, a court dissolved Thailand‘s top three ruling parties for electoral fraud Tuesday and temporarily banned the prime minister from politics….

***

The Constitutional Court ruling set the stage for thousands of protesters to end their weeklong siege of the country’s two main airports, but also raised fears of retaliatory violence by a pro-government group that could sink the country deeper into crisis and cripple its economy.

By AMBIKA AHUJA, Associated Press Writer

In this Dec. 1, 2008 file photo, Thai Prime Minister Somchai ...
Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, left, is seen at a Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand. Somchai says Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008 he has accepted a court ruling to step down because of electoral fraud committed by his political party. Somchai told reporters in the northern city of Chiang Mai the court’s verdict was ‘not a problem. I was not working for myself. Now I will be a full-time citizen.’ (AP Photo/Wichai Taprieu, File)

Members of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, occupying Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi international airport, cheered and hugged after they heard news of the verdict.

“My heart is happy. My friends are very happy,” said Pailin Jampapong, a 41-year-old Bangkok housekeeper choking back tears as she jumped up and down.

Government spokesman Nattawut Sai-kau said Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat and his six-party ruling coalition would step down.

“We will abide by the law. The coalition parties will meet together to plan for its next move soon,” he told The Associated Press.

He also said the government was postponing a regional summit in Thailand of Southeast Asian countries, from December to March.

Somchai had become increasingly isolated in recent weeks. Neither the army, a key player in Thai politics, nor the country’s much revered king had offered him firm backing. Since Wednesday, he and his Cabinet had been working out of the northern city of Chiang Mai, a government stronghold.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081202/ap_on_re_
as/as_thailand_political_unrest;_ylt=Atg1aR
xn4VA9BKzrX3Mdmbas0NUE

Thai Court Disbands Ruling Party
 

BBC

A Thai court has ruled that PM Somchai Wongsawat must step down over election fraud, a ruling he has accepted.

His governing People Power Party and two of its coalition partners have been ordered to disband and the parties’ leaders have been barred from politics.

But it is unclear if the ruling ends a months-long political crisis, since other coalition MPs have vowed to form another government under a new name.

Earlier, an anti-government protester was killed at a Bangkok airport.

Local television reported that a grenade had been fired at Don Mueang airport, the capital’s domestic hub, which has been occupied by the anti-government People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) since last week.

Government supporters later surround the constitutional court complex (2 December 2008)

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7759960.stm

Advertisements

UK Minister blasts claim that British troops in Afghanistan are not being given proper equipment as a ‘travesty of reality’

November 2, 2008

A government minister has angrily rejected claims that British troops in Afghanistan have not been given proper equipment.

Daily Mail (London)

Defence Equipment Minister Quentin Davies said SAS commander Major Sebastian Morley’s complaints were a ‘travesty’ which he found hard to take entirely seriously.

Major Morley reportedly resigned his commission in disgust following the deaths of four his soldiers who were killed when their lightly-armoured Snatch Land Rover hit a landmine in Helmand province earlier this year.

But Mr Davies suggested that such incidents could be the result of commanders on the ground sending out their troops in the wrong vehicles with the wrong equipment.

He also challenged the suggestion that Major Morley, who commanded D Squadron, 23 SAS in Afghanistan, had repeatedly raised his concerns with the Whitehall officials and senior commanders.

A British soldier in southeast Afghanistan. The head of Britain's ... 
A British soldier in southeast Afghanistan. The head of Britain’s special forces in Afghanistan has resigned, it emerged Saturday, reportedly in disgust at equipment failures that he believes led to the death of four of his troops(AFP/File/Mandel Ngan)

‘There are a couple of things that are odd about this resignation.

‘He said that he tried to alert the Ministry of Defence to the inadequacies as he saw it of his equipment,’ Mr Davies told BBC News.

‘I have asked several questions in the ministry and no one can trace any such communication from him.

‘Maybe we will come up with it but it does seem rather surprising, the whole of that aspect.’

In his resignation letter, Major Morley was said to have blamed ‘chronic under-investment’ in equipment by the MoD for the deaths Corporal Sarah Bryant – the first female soldier to die in Afghanistan – and three male colleagues, the SAS soldiers, Corporal Sean Reeve, Lance Corporal Richard Larkin and Paul Stout.

Thailand: Thaksin phones up Bangkok rally

November 2, 2008

Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has given an emotional address by phone to tens of thousands of supporters at a rally in Bangkok.

BBC

The rally was aimed at demonstrating the continuing popularity of Mr Thaksin, who has been living in exile since August after a court verdict.

He was convicted in absentia of breaking conflict of interest rules.

Supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra supporters shout slogans during ... 
Supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra supporters shout slogans during a rally at Bangkok’s Rajamanangala Stadium. The former Thai premier denounced his opponents in a telephone address to 90,000 loyal supporters that were packed into a sports stadium.(AFP/Pornchai Kittiwongsakul)

Mr Thaksin accused his opponents of destroying democracy in order to keep him out of power.

Saturday’s rally was a well organised show of strength by the Thaksin camp, reminiscent of the slick campaigns that helped the former prime minister win three successive elections, the BBC’s Jonathan Head reports from the rally.

The aim, said the organisers, was to demonstrate popular support for the Thaksin-inspired government, at a time when it is under pressure to step down from the People’s Alliance for Democracy protest movement, which has been occupying the prime minister’s office since August.

‘Miss you all’

Dressed in a sea of red shirts, to distinguish them from their yellow-shirted opponents, many had travelled long distances to the rally from the north and north-east, where the government has its strongest following, but there were many from Bangkok as well.

Read the rest and see the video:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7704486.stm

Activists: New Tibet protests break out

March 29, 2008
By JOE McDONALD, Associated Press Writer

BEIJING – Fresh protests broke out in the Tibetan capital Lhasa on Saturday as foreign diplomats wrapped up a tightly controlled visit organized by Beijing, a radio broadcaster and Tibetan activists reported.

A protest began Saturday afternoon at Lhasa’s Ramoche monastery and grew to involve “many people,” said Kate Saunders of the Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet.

Citing unnamed witnesses in the city, Saunders said the situation calmed down after a few hours. She had no information on injuries or arrests.

People also protested at the Jokhang Temple, a major Buddhist site in Lhasa, the government-in-exile of the Tibetan Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama, said on its Web site. The India-based government gave no other details.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080329/ap_on_re_as/china_tibet;_ylt=
AkP8DwbeK1wLFUw6e2P1j.Cs0NUE

China offers its own version of protests

March 23, 2008
By CARA ANNA, Associated Press Writer Sat Mar 22, 7:09 PM ET

CHENGDU, China – With restive Tibetan areas swarming with troops and closed to scrutiny from the outside world, China’s government turned up efforts Saturday to put its own version of the unrest before the international public.

Paramilitary police march in a street in Zhongdian, in a Tibetan ...
Paramilitary police march in a street in Zhongdian, in a Tibetan area known as Shangri-La, in China’s southwest Yunnan province Saturday March 22, 2008. Thousands of troops have moved into Tibetan areas of western China following last week’s anti-government riots in Tibet’s capital, Lhasa.(AP Photo/Greg Baker)

Information barely trickled out of the Tibetan capital Lhasa and other far-flung Tibetan communities, where foreign media were banned and thousands of troops dispatched to quell the most widespread demonstrations against Chinese rule in nearly five decades.

The Chinese government was attempting to fill the vacuum with its own message. It disseminated footage of Tibetan protesters attacking Chinese and accusations of biased reporting by Western media via TV, the Internet, e-mail and YouTube, which is blocked in China. The communist government’s leading newspaper called to “resolutely crush” the Tibetan demonstrations.

The media barrage underscored that the government campaign is moving into a new phase of damage control ahead of the much-anticipated Beijing Olympics in August.

While China’s rigorous policing of the Internet is far from foolproof, its official Internet is pervasive and there is no easy access to an alternative in the country. The difficulty of confirming what is going on inside Tibet may also be hindering a stronger world reaction.

“They’ve successfully managed the messages available to the average Chinese citizen, and this has fueled broad public support for a heavy-handed approach to controlling unrest,” said David Bandurski, a Hong Kong University expert on Chinese media. “There will be no nuances to Tibet coverage.”

CNN’s bureau in Beijing has been deluged in recent days by a barrage of harassing phone calls and faxes that accuse the organization of unfair coverage. An e-mail to United Nations-based reporters purportedly from China’s U.N. mission sent an Internet link to a 15-minute state television program showing Tibetans attacking Chinese in Lhasa.

A slideshow posted on YouTube accused CNN, Germany‘s Der Spiegel and other media of cropping pictures to show Chinese military while screening out Tibetan rioters or putting pictures of Indian and Nepalese police wrestling Tibetan protesters with captions about China’s crackdown.

Though of uncertain origin, the piece at least had official blessing, with excerpts appearing on the official English-language China Daily and on state TV.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080322/ap_on_re_
as/china_tibet;_ylt=Aij1
CjWC6LlLVn_765DN.bus0NUE

China issues Most Wanted list of rioters

March 21, 2008
By TINI TRAN, Associated Press Writer 

BEIJING – China issued a “Most Wanted” list of 21 rioters Friday — shown in grainy photos waving knives and fighting during last week’s violence over Chinese rule in Tibet. Thousands of troops continued to push into western China to contain unrest.

A woman walks past as paramilitary police march in a street ...
A woman walks past as paramilitary police march in a street in Zhongdian, in an area known as Shangri-La, in China’s southwest Yunnan province Friday March 21, 2008. Thousands of troops converged on foot, in trucks and helicopters in Tibetan areas of western China on Friday as the government stepped up its manhunt for protesters in last weeks anti-government riots in Tibet’s capital.
(AP Photo/Greg Baker)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave support to the Tibetan cause on a visit to the Dalai Lama, calling China’s crackdown “a challenge to the conscience of the world.”

Her criticism added to a chorus of international concern over Beijing‘s harsh response to the anti-government protests, as China sought to blame supporters of the Tibetan spiritual leader for unrest that is posing the biggest challenge in two decades to Beijing’s control of Tibet.

“If freedom-loving people throughout the world do not speak out against China’s oppression in China and Tibet, we have lost all moral authority to speak on behalf of human rights anywhere in the world,” Pelosi told a cheering crowd in Dharmsala, India, seat of the Dalai Lama’s government-in-exile.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080321/ap_on_re_
as/china_tibet_145

China says Tibet protests have spread

March 20, 2008
By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, Associated Press Writer 

BEIJING – China acknowledged Thursday that anti-government riots have spread to other provinces since sweeping through Tibet last week, as communist authorities announced the first group of arrests for the violence.

Tibetan protesters burn motorcycles, cycles and goods from shops ...
Tibetan protesters burn motorcycles, cycles and goods from shops belonging to Chinese residents as they give vent to their frustration and anger against Chinese rule in Lhasa, China, Friday March 14, 2008.(AP Photo/Jonathan Brady )

In India, the Dalai Lama told reporters he was “always ready to meet” Chinese leaders, in particular President Hu Jintao, though he said he would not travel to Beijing to do so.

But China has ignored calls for dialogue, accusing the Dalai Lama’s supporters of organizing violence in Tibet in hopes of sabotaging this summer’s Beijing Olympics and promoting Tibetan independence.

The Foreign Ministry said it was “seriously concerned” about a planned meeting between British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Dalai Lama, urging Brown not to offer support to Tibet’s exiled Buddhist leader.

Armed police and troops poured….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080320/ap_on_re_as/
china_tibet;_ylt=At9NFsxZuq2OlGOb1Nc_0J.s0NUE

China’s Wen Open To Talks With Dalai Lama

March 20, 2008

By David R. Sands
The Washington Times
March 20, 2008
.
China’s prime minister said yesterday that he would still be ready to negotiate directly with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, under the right conditions, even as Beijing struggled to control the worst political violence in the remote region in decades.

Riot policemen stand guard behind barricades set to separate ...
Riot policemen stand guard behind barricades set to separate the Chinese side from the Tibetan side at a main street in Xiahe town, Gansu province, March 19, 2008.(Nir Elias/Reuters)

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told lawmakers in London that his discussions with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao indicated hope for a meeting, despite Beijing’s rhetoric accusing the Dalai Lama of instigating the anti-Chinese demonstrations in the provincial capital of Lhasa and other cities in Tibet.
.
Zhang Qingli, Tibet’s Communist Party chief, called the clash that began a week ago a “life-or-death struggle with the Dalai Lama clique,” in an editorial in Tibet’s state-owned newspaper.
.
But Mr. Brown said, “The premier told me that, subject to two things that the Dalai Lama has already said — that he does not support the total independence of Tibet and that he renounces violence — that [Mr. Wen] would be prepared to enter into dialogue with the Dalai Lama.”
.
The Dalai Lama, breaking with some Tibetan separatist groups, has called for greater self-rule for Tibet inside China. But direct talks with the Beijing regime have stalled over differences about the size and powers of a Tibetan autonomous region.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080320/FOREIGN/12628175/1003

Dalai Lama Says He’ll Meet With Chinese President, Officials

DHARMSALA, India – The Dalai Lama says he’s willing to meet with Chinese leaders, including President Hu Jintao.

胡锦涛
Hu Jintao
Hu Jintao

But Tibet’s exiled Buddhist leader said Thursday he would not meet with Chinese leaders in Beijing unless there was “a real concrete development.” He said he would be happy to meet them elsewhere.

Chinese soldiers in riot gear walk towards the main square in ...
Chinese soldiers in riot gear walk towards the main square in the city of Kangding, located around 400 km (250 miles) west of Chengdu in Sichuan province March 20, 2008. China has been grappling to quell unrest in several Tibetan towns and villages in the country’s west, after Buddhist monk-led demonstrations in Tibet’s capital Lhasa turned violent on Friday. The government in recent days has asked foreigners in Tibet to leave and has suspended approving travel permits to the Himalayan region.
REUTERS/David Gray (CHINA)

Chinese officials have accused the Dalai Lama and his supporters of organizing violent clashes in Tibet in hopes of sabotaging this summer’s Beijing Olympics and promoting Tibetan independence.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080320/ap_on_re_as/
india_dalai_lama;_ylt=AvI
zT0lZwKMbZErXJtGUFUOs0NUE

Chinese restraint urged on Tibet

March 18, 2008

By David R. Sands
The Washington Times
March 18, 2008

China yesterday scrambled to contain the global fallout from days of bloody clashes in Tibet, as protests around the globe put the spotlight on Beijing’s human rights record just months before it hosts the Olympic Games.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the European Union all urged China to show “restraint” after days of rioting in the Tibetan capital Lhasa and neighboring provinces that left more than a dozen dead and scores injured.

Local government officials clear up burnt items on a street ...
Local government officials clear up burnt items on a street in Lhasa, Tibet March 16, 2008, in this picture distributed by China’s official Xinhua News Agency.
(Xinhua/Soinam Norbu/Reuters)

A midnight deadline set by Beijing for protesters to turn themselves in passed yesterday with no evidence of mass surrenders or arrests, the Associated Press reported.
There appeared to be little official support for a boycott of the Summer Games, even as scores of pro-Tibetan activists planned a protest today outside the Swiss headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080318/FOREIGN/87589673/1001

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Denounces Supporters of the Dalai Lama

March 18, 2008
By AUDRA ANG, Associated Press Writer 

BEIJING – Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao denounced supporters of the Dalai Lama as separatists and instigators of violent anti-Chinese riots in Tibet’s capital, taking a hard stance Tuesday as a deadline for protesters to turn themselves in passed without apparent surrenders.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao speaks to reporters at a press conference ...
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao speaks to reporters at a press conference after the closing ceremony of the National People’s Congress in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People Tuesday, March 18, 2007. The annual session of China’s ceremonial parliament was drawing to a close Tuesday, overshadowed by deadly anti-government protests in Tibet.
(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Wen’s remarks were the highest-level response to last week’s rampage in Lhasa, which the government has said killed 16 people and injured dozens.

“There is ample fact — and we also have plenty of evidence — proving that this incident was organized, premeditated, masterminded and incited by the Dalai clique,” Wen told reporters at a news conference held at the end of China‘s national legislative meeting but did not give any details.

“This has all the more revealed that the consistent claims made by the Dalai clique that they pursue not independence but peaceful dialogue are nothing but lies,” he said. “Their hypocritical lies cannot cover the unclad facts.”

He also dismissed claims by the exiled Dalai Lama that there was “cultural genocide” taking place in his homeland.

The hardline stance taken by the normally mild-manner Wen underscored the communist leadership’s determination to regain control over the region and ensure a smooth run up to this summer’s Beijing Olympics.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080318/ap_on_re_as/
china_tibet;_ylt=AjRy9Hpp
LNRjFZDF_iccJGGs0NUE