Thailand: government imposes curfew as protest leaders surrender

The government of Thailand on May 19 imposed a curfew on Bangkok and other areas of the country even as leaders of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, also known as the Red Shirts, announced an end to the two-month long conflict in Bangkok and surrendered to police. Members of the Red Shirts, known for supporting ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, refused to accept the end of the demonstrations and began setting fire to parts of Bangkok.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on May 17 urged both the Thai government and anti-government protesters to seek a peaceful resolution to the current conflict. Last week, a Thai court sentenced 27 red shirt protesters to six months in prison. Last month, Thailand’s pro-government People’s Alliance for Democracy Network, known as Yellow Shirts, called for a declaration of martial law to quell the anti-government movement spearheaded by the red shirts. Earlier in April, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva announced that he was prepared to negotiate with Red Shirt protesters once they cease their illegal conduct. Meanwhile, Abhisit has imposed a state of emergency in Bangkok and neighboring provinces.

From Jurist, May 19. Used with permission.

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