Thailand in turmoil
Polical tension escalated in Thailand as the government imposed a 60-day state of emergency which is set to take effect on Wednesday, January 22.
The imposition of a new decree aims to empower the Thai security authorities to conduct raids and arrests, and give them greater immunity from prosecution.
Mass anti-government demonstrations brought clamor in the South Asian country which has paralyzed parts of the capital and triggered violence, including grenade attacks and shootings.
Massive Protests Rock Thai Capital Of Bangkok
In two separate incidents, one person was killed and scores of others were injured when hand grenades were thrown at rally sites in Bangkok.
According to media reports, tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators have blocked parts of the Thai capital in a bid to halt elections planned for February 2 and to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Amid the outbreak of political tension, the country’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is determined to proceed with an election on the next month.
US ‘Concerned’ Over Escalating Violence In Thailand
In Washington DC, US Deputy Department Spokesperson Marie Harf said the United States strongly condemns increasing violence in Bangkok that has resulted in deaths and injuries.
“We urge Thai authorities to investigate these attacks and bring those responsible to justice. “ – Ms. Harf
The United States urged all parties to refrain from violence, exercise restraint, and respect the rule of law.
She said the United States supports democratic institutions and processes in Thailand, a long-time friend and ally.
In addition, the US encouraged all involved to commit to sincere dialogue to resolve political differences peacefully and democratically.
In December 2013, protests became bloody when shootings between rival political camps left at least three people dead and more than 100 wounded in Bangkok.
A massive number of protesters took over the prime minister’s office and clashed with riot police officers.
In December, it was reported that nearly 3,000 soldiers arrived in the capital to gain control of the situation.