LIVE: Fresh violence raises tensions in Bangkok
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LIVE: Fresh violence raises tensions in Bangkok

The anti-government protests in Bangkok, Thailand entered their ninth day Monday with tensions escalating during the morning as protesters continued to clash with police. The use of teargas and water cannons against protesters continued, and there were unconfirmed reports of police using live fire for the first time since the current round of protests began. Although life is continuing as normal in most parts of Bangkok, many schools were closed and the United Nations closed its main office.

Here we round-up the morning’s events and will keep you updated through the afternoon and evening.

+++All times in local Thai time (GMT+7)+++

9.25pm: There are widespread reports of an explosion and fire near Government House in Bangkok:

8.44pm: Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban is giving a live address on Thai television, but not carried by the mainstream channels he pressured yesterday. In brief, he has urged police to defect to the anti-government protesters’ side and called on protesters to march to take 0ver Police HQ in Bangkok at 7am tomorrow (Tuesday):

 

7.45pm: Suthep has delayed his speech sometime, but “no later than 9pm” according to protest co-leader Sathit on the stage at Democracy Monument:

7.15pm: The end could be in sight? Democrat Party’s Korn Chatikavanij has told BBC we need to wait for Suthep’s statement this evening. Speculation abounds, but we’ll have to wait and see:

7.10pm: Some journalists are tweeting that protest leaders are calling on protesters around Government House to fall back because of the presence of a third party:

7.08pm: Bulldozer breaks through barricades at Government House, but meets heavy resistance:

 

6.05pm: Another arrest warrant has been just issued against Suthep. This time it’s for insurrection:

6.00pm: Suthep is set to make yet another announcement at 7.30pm, while things have calmed down possibly awaiting what he will have to say.

5.46pm: The situation near the Metropolitan Police HQ has calmed down and protesters (have been told to) retreat back to Govt Complex in the North of Bangkok.

5.00pm: Some interesting developments after apparently a 4-hour truce is currently in effect. Protest leader Suthep has been spotted driving away from Govt Complex in Chaeng Wattana to an unknown destination:

The situation at the Metropolitian Police HQ saw some heated scenes as well as the protesters somehow managed to get a garbage truck to ram through the barricades and also got hand on a firetruck.

4.20pm: It looks like the situation at least in some areas around Govt House has calmed down at the moment, while at Democracy Monument at the main rally stage a tractor was unloaded…

3.15pm: Wassana Nanuam, military correspondent for the Bangkok Post, talked in a phone interview with ThaiPBS in the past hou about the military’s role in last night talks between PM Yingluck and protest leader Suthep, in particular army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha. Wassana states that it was Prayuth’s initiative to mediate talks between the opposing factions and also to have the chiefs of the navy, army and air force present as well. However, he was “not so happy” with the outcome, since Suthep rejected a House dissolution and new elections and kept insisting on his “People’s Council”. Wassana concludes that “Whatever the army is going to do (…) at least they can assure themselves that they tried to mediate.”

+++RECAP 2.20pm+++ New clashes as protesters attempt to take over Government House and other key government buildings again and police fire tear gas. Numerous reports of rubber bullets. PM Yingluck appears in public, says the govt open to negotiations but Suthep’s demands of a “People’s Council” are unconstitutional, presence of army chief Prayuth only as a mediator. Official death toll revised down to 3.

1.50pm: Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has finished taking questions from reporters in Thai and English. Takes a very conciliatory tone, emphasizing need for a negotiated settlement. She will not resign or dissolve parliament as that will not satisfy opposition. Adds that the government is entirely committed to finding a peaceful solution. Also announces that she has appointed Surapong as the new head of CAPO (Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfOrBjSrEeE

 

 

 

1.31pm:

1.25pm: It’s worth noting that the weekend death toll from the Bangkok protests has been revised down to three. The figure of  four deaths issued on Sunday evening was reportedly due to a mix-up.

 

1.20pm:

12:52pm:

12.35pm: From Associated Press: Thailand braces for more violence

After a weekend of chaos in pockets of Bangkok, protesters vowed to push ahead with plans to topple Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra by occupying her office compound along with other key government buildings. Police again used tear gas on thousands of protesters on Monday after repeatedly driving them back with similar attacks throughout Sunday.

12.21pm:

12.16pm: Many tweeters reporting use of live rounds by police:

 

11.30am: Twitter abuzz this morning of protesters using a sewage pump truck to fire faeces at police. A rumour that wasn’t entirely taken seriously:

10.30am: Bangkok Pundit expertly takes apart the often used anti-government vote-buying argument: Vote buying and Thaksin, and the Democrats

 

9.50am: Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra appeared to be back on the map this morning after much speculation on her whereabouts Sunday evening:

9.29am:

8am: Bangkok Pundit unearths some excellent drone footage of Sunday’s clashes: Thailand: Videos of police and anti-government protesters clashing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_63LqLIyds