Thai military clash with red-shirts; China plans ASEAN investment fund; Sri Lankan truce allows civilians to flee; Moldovan election recount; and more
Top of the Agenda: Thai Conflict Escalates
The Thai military has mobilized to suppress protesters in Bangkok, two days after the country's government declared a state of emergency after demonstrators seized control of much of the government district of Bangkok. The Bangkok Post reports at least seventy people, twenty-three of them soldiers, were injured during clashes today and yesterday between troops and protestors. A leader of the political group orchestrating the protests said four people were killed, but Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva disputed this allegation. Vejjajiva made two televised addresses (Xinhua) this morning in an attempt to reassure the Thai public that the country's police have the situation under control and calling on the protestors to open negotiations with the government.
The Economist says the conflict essentially draws down to a dispute between "red-shirt" supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra, Thailand's former prime minister who was ousted in 2006, and supporters of the current government, who hail from a rival party. The Financial Times, in a news analysis, says the ease with which protestors stormed government strongholds in Bangkok and blocked the entrance to ASEAN summit meetings last week "humiliated" the Thai government internationally and reveal an "intractable divide that is threatening to tear the country apart."
- This BBC Q&A explains the current protests.
- The New York Times has a photo slideshow of the protests over the last few days.
PACIFIC RIM: China-ASEAN
Beijing unveiled plans (BBC) to create an investment fund to boost credit infrastructure in the ten countries of ASEAN, in southeast Asia.
N.KOREA: The Chosun Ilbo reports South Korean, Japanese, and U.S. officials analyzing North Korea's recent rocket launch have concluded that the projectile traveled further than they originally thought.