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Thai government said it would ask the army to provide security for February’s elections, as the military called for restraint on both sides.

Thailand is facing increasingly violent protests, with two killed and dozens injured in recent days.

On Thursday, the Electoral Commission said the polls should be postponed to ensure the safety of candidates.

However, government officials said parliament was already dissolved so there was no legal reason for a delay.

Fighting broke out on Thursday at a stadium where election candidates were being registered.

A group of protesters, some throwing stones and evidently some who were armed, tried to break into the stadium.

One police officer and one protester were killed in the clashes.

Thailand is facing increasingly violent protests, with two killed and dozens injured in recent days

Thailand is facing increasingly violent protests, with two killed and dozens injured in recent days

Deputy PM Surapong Tovichakchaikul said the government would ask the army to help secure candidate registrations on Saturday.

“I will also ask the military to provide security protection for members of the public on the 2 February elections,” he added in a televised address.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Thai army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha did not address the government’s request.

Instead, he urged restraint on both sides and an end to street violence and said the army had shown “red traffic lights to both sides so things will calm down”.

When asked if the army would intervene, Prayuth Chan-ocha said: “That door is neither open nor closed.”

The army, which mounted a successful coup only seven years ago, remains a powerful player in Thai politics.

The army has staged several coups in the past, and ousted former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, who is also brother to current premier Yingluck Shinawatra, in 2006.

Yingluck Shinawatra called the snap election earlier this month, following weeks of protests.

However, the opposition Democrat party is boycotting the polls.

Yingluck Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai Party won the last election in 2011 and has a big majority in parliament.

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Thai riot police have fired teargas at protesters trying to prevent political parties from registering for February’s elections at Bangkok’s stadium.

About 500 protesters tried to storm Thai-Japanese stadium where election commission officials were working.

PM Yingluck Shinawatra called the snap elections after weeks of protests that demanded an unelected “people’s council” take power.

Thai riot police have fired teargas at protesters trying to prevent political parties from registering for February's elections

Thai riot police have fired teargas at protesters trying to prevent political parties from registering for February’s elections

The demonstrators say political reforms are needed before polls can take place.

On Thursday, the protesters – some of whom were throwing stones – tried to break into the stadium where the electoral commission was registering candidates.

But police responded with tear gas, dispersing the crowd.

There were no reports of serious injuries.

Yingluck Shinawatra dissolved parliament and called an election on December 9th, after more than 150,000 demonstrators took to the streets calling for her government to step down.

Last Sunday, she said elections must take place and urged protesters to express their views at the ballot box.

“If we don’t hold on to the democratic system, what should we hold on to?”

Her Pheu Thai Party won the last election in 2011, and has a majority in parliament.

However, protesters say Yingluck Shinawatra’s brother – ousted former leader Thaksin Shinawatra – remains in charge.

Thaksin Shinawatra is currently in self-imposed exile after he was overthrown in a military army coup in 2006 and convicted of corruption.

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Thai anti-government protesters have surrounded the stadium where candidates were due to register to stand in February’s elections.

They say political reform is needed before elections take place.

On Sunday, tens of thousands took to the streets of the capital Bangkok, calling on the government to step down.

PM Yingluck Shinawatra, who called the polls in December try to end the rallies, urged protesters to respect the “democratic system”.

The main opposition Democrat Party has said it would boycott February’s elections.

Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, who was previously a senior Democrat Party politician, said on Sunday: “We disagree with the election. We want the country to be reformed before the election.”

Thai anti-government protesters have surrounded the stadium where candidates were due to register to stand in February's elections

Thai anti-government protesters have surrounded the stadium where candidates were due to register to stand in February’s elections

He urged protesters to gather outside Bangkok’s Din Daeng Thai-Japan Stadium, where candidate registrations were set to take place, on Monday.

“If you want to apply for candidacy, you must walk past our feet first,” Suthep Thaugsuban said.

Political parties began registering their candidates at a local police station instead, while protesters responded by surrounding the police station as well, correspondents say.

Yingluck Shinawatra dissolved parliament and called an election on December 9, after more than 150,000 demonstrators took to the streets calling for her government to step down.

On Sunday, Yingluck Shinawatra told reporters that elections must take place, and urged protesters to express their views at the ballot box.

She said: “If we don’t hold on to the democratic system, what should we hold on to?”

“If you don’t accept this government, please accept the system,” Yingluck Shinawatra added.

Yingluck Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai Party won the last election in 2011, and has a majority in parliament. However protesters say her brother – ousted former leader Thaksin Shinawatra – remains in charge.

The protesters also accuse the Pheu Thai Party of using public funds irresponsibly to secure votes.

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Thailand’s opposition is to hold a mass rally in the capital Bangkok as its campaign to bring down the government of Yingluck Shinawatra continues.

Protest leaders say they expect a turnout of hundreds of thousands of people.

On Saturday the main opposition Democrat Party said it will boycott elections called for February 2nd.

PM Yingluck Shinawatra called the election earlier this month in a bid to end weeks of protests.

Yingluck Shinawatra won the last elections in 2011, but protesters say her brother – the controversial ousted former leader Thaksin Shinawatra – remains in charge.

Thai opposition is holding a mass rally in Bangkok as its campaign to bring down the government of Yingluck Shinawatra continues

Thai opposition is holding a mass rally in Bangkok as its campaign to bring down the government of Yingluck Shinawatra continues

Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban said he hoped Sunday’s rally will raise the pressure on Yingluck Shinawatra and her government, the Bangkok Post reported.

The protesters have set up stages at five main intersections and will be attempting to shut down the traffic in the commercial heart of the capital.

The head of the Thai army has warned the country’s political divisions could “trigger a civil war”.

The opposition-backed protests in Bangkok have caused Thailand’s most serious political turmoil since 2010, with four people killed in clashes in recent weeks.

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Thailand’s main opposition party has decided to boycott snap elections set for February 2, 2014.

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva told a news conference it would not be fielding candidates, saying: “Thai politics is at a failed stage.”

PM Yingluck Shinawatra called the election earlier this month in a bid to end weeks of mass protests.

The head of the Thai army has warned the country’s political divisions could “trigger a civil war”.

General Prayuth Chan-ocha has proposed a “people’s assembly” – made up of civilians from both sides, not the leaders, to heal the divisions.

The opposition-backed protests in Bangkok have caused Thailand’s most serious political turmoil since 2010.

Yingluck Shinawatra won the last elections in 2011, but protesters say her brother – the controversial ousted former leader Thaksin Shinawatra – remains in charge.

At his news conference, Abhisit Vejjajiva told reporters his party had agreed it would not field candidates in the snap elections.

Thailand's main opposition party has decided to boycott snap elections set for February

Thailand’s main opposition party has decided to boycott snap elections set for February

“The Thai people have lost their faith in the democratic system,” he said.

The prime minister dissolved parliament and called the election on December 9 in a bid, she said, to avoid violence on the streets and “to give back the power to the Thai people”.

Her Pheu Thai party has a majority in parliament, and draws significant support from Thailand’s rural areas. It is seen as well-placed to win February’s election.

General Prayuth Chan-ocha said he was deeply concerned by the latest crisis, with divisions not just in Bangkok but across the whole country.

“The situation could trigger a civil war,” he told the Bangkok Post.

Setting out his vision of a “people’s assembly”, he said it should be made up of people from both sides of the political divide – known as the “red shirts”, those who support Thaksin Shinawatra, and the “yellow shirts”, those who oppose him.

“It must be from a neutral group and comprise non-core representatives of all colors, and all color leaders must be excluded,” he said.

General Prayuth Chan-ocha did not give details on how or when the assembly would be set up, but said any proposal “must come from a public consensus and the public must brainstorm how to reach that consensus”.

He stressed his grouping would be different to the “people’s council” proposed by the opposition.

“The people’s assembly must not be organized or sponsored by any conflicting group, as it would not be accepted by the other side,” he said.

His comments came after a defense council meeting on Friday to discuss the February 2 election.

Defense spokesman Col Thanatip Sawangsaeng said the army “is ready to support the Election Commission in organizing the elections when asked”.

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Former Thailand’s PM Abhisit Vejjajiva has been formally charged with murder in connection with a crackdown on demonstrators in 2010.

More than 90 people died in clashes during the 2010 protests.

Abhisit Vejjajiva, who leads the opposition Democrat Party, denied the charges and was granted bail.

The indictment came as protests against current PM Yingluck Shinawatra continued, and protesters briefly entered Government House.

Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, who was Abhisit Vejjajiva’s deputy in 2010, also faces charges but has asked the court to postpone his hearing.

Abhisit Vejjajiva and Suthep Thaugsuban were in power when thousands of supporters of ousted former leader Thaksin Shinawatra occupied parts of Bangkok. They authorized the army to clear the protesters.

Abhisit Vejjajiva has been formally charged with murder in connection with a crackdown on demonstrators in 2010

Abhisit Vejjajiva has been formally charged with murder in connection with a crackdown on demonstrators in 2010

The charges relate to the shooting deaths of a 43-year-old taxi driver and a 14-year-old during the crackdown.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, protesters briefly broke into Government House, and later cut off the office’s power supply, reports said.

Anti-government protesters want Yingluck Shinawatra to resign and for her government to be replaced with an unelected “People’s Council”.

They say that Thaksin Shinawatra, who is also Yingluck Shinawatra’s brother, controls the ruling Pheu Thai party.

Abhisit Vejjajiva and other Democrat Party lawmakers resigned from parliament on Sunday so that they could join the protesters.

On Monday, Yingluck Shinawatra dissolved parliament and announced general elections for  February 2nd, 2014, as 150,000 protesters surrounded Government House.

However, she has refused to resign before the elections.

Yingluck Shinwatra’s Pheu Thai party has a majority in parliament, and draws significant support from Thailand’s rural areas. The party is seen as well-placed to win February’s election.

However, protesters accuse it of using public funds irresponsibly to secure votes, including on a controversial rice subsidy scheme which hurt Thailand’s exports.

Thaksin Shinwatra is in self-imposed exile after he was overthrown in a military coup in 2006 and convicted of corruption.

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Thailand’s PM Yingluck Shinawatra has rejected protesters’ demands that she resign before February’s snap elections.

Demonstrators have been calling for Yingluck Shinawatra to resign and be replaced with a “people’s prime minister”.

Yingluck Shinawatra won the last polls in 2011, but protesters say ex-leader Thaksin Shinawatra remains in charge.

Thailand is facing its largest political turmoil since 2010.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Yingluck Shinawatra urged protesters to stop and “use the electoral system to choose who will become the next government”.

“I must do my duty as caretaker prime minister according to the constitution,” she said.

Yingluck Shinawatra has rejected protesters' demands that she resign before February's snap elections

Yingluck Shinawatra has rejected protesters’ demands that she resign before February’s snap elections

She added: “I have retreated as far as I can – give me some fairness.”

On Monday, around 150,000 protesters had converged around the government headquarters in what they had described as a final push to unseat the government.

On the same day, Yingluck Shinawatra announced that she would dissolve parliament and call elections, now set for February 2.

However, protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, a former opposition politician, said that the demonstrations would continue.

“We will select a people’s prime minister and set up a government of the people and a people’s assembly to replace parliament,” he said late on Monday.

On Tuesday the streets were quiet and the number of protesters had diminished significantly.

However, a small core of protesters remained outside government buildings, correspondents said.

Yingluck Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai party has a majority in parliament, and draws significant support from Thailand’s rural areas. The party is seen as well-placed to win February’s election.

Anti-government protesters say Yingluck Shinawatra’s party is controlled by ousted leader Thaksin Shinawatra.

They accuse it of using public funds irresponsibly to secure votes and want her government to be replaced with an unelected “People’s Council”.

Thaksin Shinawatra, a polarizing politician, is in self-imposed exile after he was overthrown in a military army coup in 2006 and convicted of corruption.

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Thailand’s PM Yingluck Shinawatra has announced she will dissolve parliament and call an election, after sustained protests in the capital, Bangkok.

The move followed the resignation of all opposition MPs from parliament on Sunday, and a planned march on Government House on Monday.

Yingluck Shinawatra won elections in 2011.

However, the protesters allege Yingluck Shinawatra’s government is controlled by ousted leader Thaksin Shinawatra, and have vowed to continue the demonstrations.

Thailand’s PM Yingluck Shinawatra has announced she will dissolve parliament and call an election

Thailand’s PM Yingluck Shinawatra has announced she will dissolve parliament and call an election

The announcement came as Yingluck Shinawatra addressed the nation on television.

“The government does not want any loss of life,” she said.

“At this stage, when there are many people opposed to the government from many groups, the best way is to give back the power to the Thai people and hold an election,” Yingluck Shinawatra said.

“So the Thai people will decide.”

No date was given for the polls but Yingluck Shinawatra said they would be held “as soon as possible”.

In the general election in July 2011, Yingluck Shinawatra ‘s Pheu Thai party won a majority, with 265 seats to the Democrat Party’s 159 seats.

Under Thailand’s electoral regulations polls must be held within two months of parliament being dissolved.

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In his address to the nation on his birthday, King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand has urged people to support each other for the sake of the country.

Thailand is marking the 86th birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej amid a truce after days of violent protests in Bangkok.

Speaking at his palace in the coastal resort of Hua Hin, King Bhumibol Adulyadej said that Thailand had been peaceful because of the unity of the people.

There were violent clashes earlier in the week between police and protesters.

The demonstrators, who are demanding that the current government resign, began protesting on November 24.

They agreed to stop their attacks on government buildings for the birthday celebrations, but have said they will be back right after them.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand has urged people to support each other for the sake of the country

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand has urged people to support each other for the sake of the country

On Thursday, thousands of people had headed to the town of Hua Hin, near the king’s Klai Kangwon palace, in the hope of seeing him, the Bangkok Post reports.

Special bus and train services had been laid on by the transport ministry to bring people to the town, the paper says.

The kings traditionally deliver a speech to the nation on his birthday – an audience keenly anticipated for any hints of his thinking on events in Thailand.

He called on people to do their duty to support each other for the sake of the country.

“All Thais should realize this point a lot and behave and perform our duties accordingly, our duty for the sake of the public, for stability, security for our nation of Thailand,” the king said.

The current wave of protests began in Bangkok relatively peacefully, but things took a violent turn over the weekend and on Monday.

Protesters tried to topple police barricades and storm the prime minister’s office, Government House. Clashes broke as police used tear gas and water cannon to repel them.

The situation calmed down on Tuesday after security forces stepped back from protesters.

Some anti-government protesters headed to the police headquarters in Bangkok on Wednesday. A few hundred of the protesters were allowed inside the compound by the police and then withdrew.

The protesters say there is more to come.

“After the king’s birthday, we will start fighting again until we achieve our goal,” former deputy prime minister and protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban told AFP on Tuesday.

The protesters want the current government under PM Yingluck Shinawatra to step down and be replaced by an unelected “People’s Council”.

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Thai police removed barricades from outside both Government House and the police office in Bangkok announcing that protesters are welcomed in the government’s headquarters.

The mood in the capital Bangkok appeared considerably calmer after the move, which followed clashes over the weekend and on Monday.

But as tensions fell, protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban vowed to fight on and remove the government.

PM Yingluck Shinawatra has rejected protesters’ demands that she step down.

Yingluck Shinawatra said she was open to negotiations but that calls for the government to be replaced by an appointed council were illegal and unconstitutional.

The protests, which began on November 24, had been largely peaceful until Saturday, when they became violent.

Over the weekend and on Monday demonstrators tried to break apart police barricades and storm the prime minister’s office, Government House, with police using tear gas and water cannon to repel them.

Protest leader and former opposition politician Suthep Thaugsuban said on Monday that the protesters would “take over the Metropolitan Police Bureau and make it the people’s”.

Thai police took down barriers and razor wire outside their building and it was announced that the protesters were welcome inside

Thai police took down barriers and razor wire outside their building and it was announced that the protesters were welcome inside

On Tuesday morning – in a surprise and possibly shrewd move – the police took down barriers and razor wire outside their building and it was announced that the protesters were welcome inside.

Protesters were allowed through the barricades outside Government House.

Demonstrators gathered on the lawn of the headquarters, blowing whistles and waving flags. AFP news agency reported a “carnival” atmosphere at the site.

Protesters shook hands with police officers, hugged them, and offered them roses.

Deputy Prime Minister Pongthep Thepkanchana said the government was still functioning, but had asked the police to back off.

“We see the protesters just want to seize these places as a symbolic action, so we want to compromise,” he told Reuters.

The police move is seen as an attempt to prevent further clashes.

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Thailand’s PM Yingluck Shinawatra has rejected protesters’ demands that she step down, amid ongoing clashes in Bangkok.

Yingluck Shinawatra said the demands were not possible under the constitution, but that she remained open to talks.

More clashes broke out on Monday as protesters tried to storm the prime minister’s office, Government House.

Four people have died in Thailand’s worst political turmoil since the 2010 rallies that ended in violence.

PM Yingluck Shinawatra has rejected protesters' demands that she step down, amid ongoing clashes in Bangkok

PM Yingluck Shinawatra has rejected protesters’ demands that she step down, amid ongoing clashes in Bangkok

“Anything I can do to make people happy, I am willing to do… but as prime minister, what I can do must be under the constitution,” Yingluck Shinawatra said in a televised address.

Anti-government demonstrators have been calling on Yingluck Shinawatra to step down, with protest leader and former opposition politician Suthep Thaugsuban saying on Sunday that Yingluck Shinawatra should resign within the next “two days”.

The protesters want to replace the government with an unelected “People’s Council”, alleging Yingluck Shinawatra’s government is controlled by her brother, ousted leader Thaksin Shinawatra.

The protests, which began on November 24, had been largely peaceful until Saturday, when they became violent.

Over the weekend demonstrators tried to break apart police barricades and storm the prime minister’s office, with police using tear gas and water cannons to repel them.

On Monday, protesters returned to the streets again and more clashes occurred, although correspondents said that demonstrator numbers appeared lower than before.

Yingluck Shinawatra has said that she would not authorize the use of force against protesters.

“The military has positioned itself as neutral and it wants to see a peaceful way out,” Yingluck Shinawatra added in Monday’s address.

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Thailand’s protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban says he has met Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and given her two days to “return power to the people”.

Suthep Thaugsuban said the meeting had been held under the auspices of the military and there was no compromise.

He did not say what action would follow if the ultimatum were not heeded.

On the eighth day of action to unseat PM Yingluck Shinawatra, police fended off protesters who descended on key sites in Bangkok. Four people have died in the unrest.

Dozens have been injured.

The protesters had declared Sunday the decisive “V-Day” of what they termed a “people’s coup”.

The worst violence occurred when Thai students attacked vehicles bringing pro-government activists to a Bangkok stadium

The worst violence occurred when Thai students attacked vehicles bringing pro-government activists to a Bangkok stadium

They say Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration is controlled by her brother, exiled ex-leader Thaksin Shinawatra, and they want to replace it with a “People’s Council”.

Suthep Thaugsuban said he had met the prime minister in a secret location in the presence of the army, navy and air force commanders.

“There was no negotiation and no compromise,” Suthep Thaugsuban was quoted as saying.

“I told Yingluck that this is the only and last time I see her until power is handed over to the people.

“There will be no bargaining and it must be finished in two days.”

Some 30,000 protesters had gathered earlier at about eight sites, police said, including Government House, television stations and the police headquarters.

Protesters did enter several TV stations to ensure a message from Suthep Thaugsuban was aired. It was broadcast by almost all of Thailand’s channels.

Suthep Thaugsuban called a general strike for government employees for Monday.

Yingluck Shinawatra had intended to give media interviews on Sunday at a Bangkok police complex but was forced to leave when protesters tried to break in.

Deputy PM Pracha Promnok urged people in the capital to stay indoors from 22:00 to 05:00 local time “so they will not become victims of provocateurs”.

The worst violence occurred when students attacked vehicles bringing pro-government activists to a Bangkok stadium on Saturday.

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Thailand’s government has decided to deploy troops in Bangkok to support riot police shielding official buildings from anti-government protesters.

Tear gas and water cannon were fired as protesters tried to breach barricades outside Government House.

Activists have threatened to enter key government buildings, including the headquarters of PM Yingluck Shinawatra.

Sunday is the eighth day of protests aimed at unseating Yingluck Shinawatra.

Protest leaders had said it would be the decisive day. They declared it “V-Day” of what they are calling a “people’s coup”.

Two people were killed and dozens more wounded on Saturday as pro- and anti-government groups clashed.

Troops have been deployed in Bangkok to support riot police shielding official buildings from anti-government protesters

Troops have been deployed in Bangkok to support riot police shielding official buildings from anti-government protesters

The anti-government Civil Movement for Democracy has announced an all-out assault on the heart of the government, with the aim of replacing it with a “People’s Council”.

It says Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration is controlled by her brother, exiled ex-leader Thaksin Shinawatra.

The Bangkok Post reported that a group of anti-government protesters had taken control of the Thai PBS television station. They told PBS officials to televise speeches made by the protest leaders, the report said.

Police drove back another set of demonstrators at the police headquarters.

Officials denied rumors Yingluck Shinawatra had left the country, but her whereabouts are unknown.

Yingluck Shinawatra had earlier said the government would use minimum force to hold back the protesters.

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Clashes broke out in Bangkok between rival protesters killing at least one person and wounding other three.

People heading to a pro-government rally were attacked by students, and later shots were fired.

Saturday is the seventh day of protests aiming to unseat the government of PM Yingluck Shinawatra.

Protesters claim her government is controlled by her brother, exiled former leader Thaksin Shinawatra.

Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted in a coup following protests in 2006 and now lives in self-imposed exile overseas.

Clashes broke out in Bangkok between rival protesters killing at least one person and wounding other three

Clashes broke out in Bangkok between rival protesters killing at least one person and wounding other three

He is one of the most polarizing figures in Thai politics – he remains popular with many rural voters, while his opponents tend to be urban and middle class voters.

A group of students attacked vehicles bringing government supporters to the stadium – windows were smashed, and some minor injuries reported.

Later, shots were fired, but it is not clear yet by whom.

Police reinforcements were sent to the area and roads blocked, but skirmishes between the two sides continued for several hours.

Police have called for military backup to reinforce security in the city.

National police spokesman Piya Utayo said on Thai television that some 2,730 military personnel from the army, navy and air force will be deployed, AFP reports.

The government has been reluctant to risk deploying the military, which ousted Yingluck  Shinawatra ‘s brother in a coup seven years ago, but may no longer have a choice, our correspondent reports.

Tension is now rising in Bangkok as the anti-government movement prepares for what it calls a “people’s revolt” – a mass occupation of government buildings.

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Hundreds of Thai protesters forced their way into the army headquarters in Bangkok, on the sixth day of anti-government rallies.

The protesters broke open a gate, held a rally in the compound asking for the army’s help in their campaign, and later withdrew without confrontation.

On Thursday, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra called for an end to the demonstrations after surviving a no-confidence vote.

But protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban has rejected her appeal.

“We will not let them work anymore,” the former senior opposition lawmaker said in a speech late on Thursday.

On Friday, at least 1,000 protesters forced their way into the army headquarters compound, but did not enter any buildings.

They urged the army to come out in support of the demonstrators.

Hundreds of Thai protesters forced their way into the army headquarters in Bangkok, on the sixth day of anti-government rallies

Hundreds of Thai protesters forced their way into the army headquarters in Bangkok, on the sixth day of anti-government rallies

“We want to know which side the army stands on,” Reuters news agency quoted one protester as saying.

Meanwhile security was tightened around the ruling Pheu Thai party headquarters, where more protesters had massed.

Demonstrators have been surrounding and occupying official buildings this week in an attempt to disrupt the government.

During the demonstrations, which have been largely peaceful so far, participants have cut the electricity supply to the national police headquarters and forced the evacuation of Thailand’s top crime-fighting agency.

The protesters say Yingluck Shinawatra’s government is controlled by her brother, exiled former leader Thaksin Shinawatra.

Yingluck Shinawatra has invoked special powers allowing curfews and road closures, and police have also ordered the arrest of Suthep Thaugsuban – but so far no move has been made to detain him.

In a televised address on Thursday, Yingluck Shinawatra said the protesters should negotiate with the government.

“The government doesn’t want to enter into any political games because we believe it will cause the economy to deteriorate,” Yingluck Shinawatra said.

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Thailand’s PM Yingluck Shinawatra has survived a no-confidence vote in parliament, amid major street protests in Bangkok.

The motion was brought by the opposition Democrat Party, but Yingluck Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai party dominate the chamber and voted it down.

Yingluck Shinawatra’s government is facing the biggest demonstrations to hit Thailand since the violence of 2010.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has voiced concern over the tensions and urged restraint.

Protests began in Bangkok on Sunday. Since then, demonstrators calling on the government to step down have marched on ministries and government bodies in an attempt to shut them down.

The demonstrators, who are led by a former opposition party lawmaker, say Yingluck Shinawatra’s government is controlled by her brother – the ousted former leader Thaksin Shinawatra.

Yingluck Shinawatra has invoked special powers allowing curfews and road closures and police have also ordered the arrest of the protest leader – but so far no move has been made to detain him.

The protests have been largely peaceful and correspondents have described the mood of the rallies as friendly.

PM Yingluck Shinawatra has survived a no-confidence vote in parliament, amid major street protests in Bangkok

PM Yingluck Shinawatra has survived a no-confidence vote in parliament, amid major street protests in Bangkok

On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters surrounded Thailand’s top crime-fighting agency, forcing its evacuation.

Ban Ki-moon has urged all sides to “to exercise the utmost restraint, refrain from the use of violence and to show full respect for the rule of law and human rights”.

Yingluck Shinawatra won 297 votes, easily surviving the lower house censure motion, while 134 voted against her.

So far protesters have succeeded only in disrupting the business of government for a few days, and the authorities have been careful not to risk violence by confronting them.

Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted in a military coup in 2006 that left the country bitterly divided.

In 2010, thousands of “red-shirt” Thaksin Shinawatra supporters occupied key parts of the capital. More than 90 people, mostly civilian protesters, died over the course of the two-month sit-in.

Yingluck Shinawatra and the Pheu Thai Party were subsequently voted into office, and Thailand’s political landscape has remained largely stable since then.

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Thai protesters have forced the evacuation of the government’s top crime-fighting agency, on the fourth day of street demonstrations in Bangkok.

The protesters, who want Yingluck Shinawatra’s government to step down, marched to a complex of government offices outside the city.

The anti-government protest leader said they wanted to shut down government ministries in a bid to cause disruption.

They accuse the government of being controlled by the prime minister’s brother, Thaksin Shinawatra.

The protests are being led by former opposition Democrat Party lawmaker Suthep Thaugsuban, for whom police have issued an arrest warrant.

They began on Sunday and so far have targeted the finance, foreign and interior ministries, among others.

Thai protesters have forced the evacuation of the government's top crime-fighting agency, on the fourth day of street demonstrations in Bangkok

Thai protesters have forced the evacuation of the government’s top crime-fighting agency, on the fourth day of street demonstrations in Bangkok

“Let the people go to every ministry that remains to make civil servants stop serving the Thaksin regime,” the Associated Press news agency quoted Suthep Thaugsuban as saying.

“Once you take over, civil servants can no longer serve the Thaksin regime. Brothers and sisters, go seize the city hall.”

Despite the arrest warrant, police made no attempt to detain him as he led protesters to government offices.

On Wednesday afternoon, hundreds of protesters surrounded the Department of Special Investigations (DSI), which is Thailand’s equivalent of the FBI.

The DSI is a particular target for the demonstrators – they accuse its chief of conducting partisan investigations against opponents of the government.

The DSI chief ordered his staff to leave as protesters surrounded the building, Reuters news agency said.

PM Yingluck Shinawatra – who on Monday invoked special powers allowing officials to impose curfews – said that the government would not use force against protesters.

“This is not the <<Thaksin regime>>, this is a democratically elected government,” Yingluck Shinawatra told media outside parliament.

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Thai protesters have surrounded several more ministries, as street demonstrations continue in Bangkok.

The protesters want Yingluck Shinawatra’s government to resign, saying it is controlled by her brother – ousted former PM Thaksin Shinawatra.

After a huge rally on Sunday, they marched to several Bangkok locations.

Late on Monday, Yingluck Shinawatra invoked special powers allowing officials to impose curfews and seal roads.

The protests have been triggered by a controversial political amnesty bill.

The demonstrators say the legislation – which failed in the Senate – would have allowed Thaksin Shinawatra to return to Thailand without serving a jail sentence for corruption.

Thailand has been bitterly divided since Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted in a military coup in 2006 and the proposal re-ignited simmering political tensions.

Groups of protesters, who are being led by former opposition Democratic Party lawmaker Suthep Thaugsuban, camped out at the foreign and finance ministries overnight.

On Tuesday, they surrounded the interior, tourism, transport and agriculture ministries.

There were around 1,000 protesters gathered outside both the finance and interior ministries, blowing whistles and chanting “get out!”, reports said.

“We have to leave because they [the protesters] will cut the utilities,” Tourism and Sports Minister Somsak Pureesrisak told AFP news agency.

Thai protesters have surrounded several more ministries, as street demonstrations continue in Bangkok

Thai protesters have surrounded several more ministries, as street demonstrations continue in Bangkok

Akanat Promphan, a protest spokesman, said: “We are occupying the finance ministry in a non-violent and peaceful way, so our supporters around the country can do the same and occupy all government offices.”

“Tomorrow there will be a nationwide movement,” he added.

However, Thida Thavornseth, a leader of the “red shirts”, who support Thaksin Shinawatra, told AFP news agency: “Suthep [Thaugsuban] is not trying to throw out the government… he wants to throw out democracy and replace it with an ultra-royalist administration.”

The opposition Democrat Party has also started a censure motion in parliament against the government, over its alleged misuse of the budget.

The motion highlights an expensive rice subsidy scheme launched by the government after it took office.

Under the scheme, the government bought rice directly from farmers, paying more than the market rate. India and Vietnam increased their share of global rice exports as a result, overtaking Thailand as the world’s largest rice exporter.

The government is expected to defeat the censure motion, since the ruling Pheu Thai party has a majority in parliament.

The protests are the biggest to hit Thailand since the violence of 2010, when “red-shirt” opponents of the then Democratic Party government occupied key parts of the capital.

More than 90 people, mostly civilian protesters, died over the course of the two-month sit-in.

A government led by Yingluck Shinawatra and the ruling Pheu Thai Party was subsequently elected and since then Thailand has remained relatively politically stable.

But the opposition accuses Thaksin Shinawatra of running the government from self-imposed exile overseas, and the now-shelved amnesty bill has served as a spark for renewed protests.

Yingluck Shinawatra invoked the Internal Security Act late on Monday. But she said on Tuesday the government would not use violence to end the protests.

“Everybody must obey the law and not use mob rule to upstage the rule of law,” she told reporters.

“If we can talk, I believe the country will return to normal,” she added.

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Tens of thousands of protesters marched on Bangkok streets for a second day of anti-government demonstrations in Thailand, forcing their way into the finance ministry.

The protesters, who began their action over the weekend, want the government of PM Yingluck Shinawatra to step down.

After a huge rally on Sunday, crowds marched on Monday to several different locations in the city.

The protests have been triggered by a controversial political amnesty bill.

The legislation, which the opposition say would have allowed ousted leader Thaksin Shinawatra – the current prime minister’s brother – to return to Thailand without serving a jail sentence for corruption, failed to pass in the Senate earlier this month.

But the proposed legislation led to a fresh outbreak of street protests, reigniting simmering political divisions and raising the specter of renewed political turmoil in the South East Asian nation.

On Monday the anti-government protesters, who are led by a former opposition Democratic Party lawmaker, marched to state offices, military headquarters and television stations.

Campaign leader Suthep Thaugsuban had said the protest would be peaceful, with crowds “blowing whistles and handing out flowers”.

But at the finance ministry, a group of around 40 people swarmed into the compound.

Tens of thousands of protesters marched on Bangkok streets for a second day of anti-government demonstrations in Thailand

Tens of thousands of protesters marched on Bangkok streets for a second day of anti-government demonstrations in Thailand

“Tomorrow [Tuesday] we will seize all ministries to show to the Thaksin system that they have no legitimacy to run the country,” AFP news agency quoted Suthep Thaugsuban as saying.

Sunday’s demonstration drew an estimated 100,000 people, who called on the government to step down.

“We have stood by silently while her [PM Yingluck Shinawatra’s] brother calls the shots and she runs the country into the ground with loss-making policies,” Reuters news agency quoted protester Suwang Ruangchai, 54, as saying.

About 40,000 government supporters held a separate rally in another part of the capital on Sunday.

Thailand has been bitterly divided since Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted in a military coup in 2006.

Groups opposed to him occupied Bangkok’s main airport in 2008, shutting it down. Then in 2010, those who backed him and his allies held two months of street protests that paralyzed Bangkok.

Those demonstrations ended in a military crackdown. More than 90 people – mostly civilian protesters – died over the course of the two-month sit-in.

A government led by Thaksin Shinawatra’s sister was subsequently elected and since then Thailand has remained relatively politically stable.

But the opposition accuses Thaksin Shinawatra of running the government from self-imposed exile overseas, and the now-shelved amnesty bill has served as a spark for renewed protests.

The bill applied to offences committed during the upheaval after Thaksin Shinawatra was removed from office. Yingluck Shinawatra’s government had argued that the legislation was a necessary step towards reconciliation.

But critics said it would allow human rights abuses – such as the killing of civilian protesters – to go unpunished.

And the opposition viewed it as a way of overturning the jail sentence given to Thaksin Shinawatra, paving the way for his return.

Thaksin Shinawatra is a deeply polarizing figure in Thai politics. He drew huge support from Thailand’s rural poor but strong opposition from other sectors in society, and the divisions dating from the 2006 coup continue to dominate the political landscape.

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Thai police have used tear gas against thousands of protesters calling for the overthrow of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in Bangkok.

At least 10,000 protesters gathered, demonstrating against the government of Yingluck Shinawatra, the sister of the deposed former prime minister.

The rally was organized by a group who accuse Yingluck Shinawatra of being a puppet of her brother, Thaksin Shinawatra.

At least seven police officers were reported wounded in clashes.

Anti-riot police carrying plastic shields fired tear gas at protesters who tried to climb over concrete and barbed wire barriers blocking entry to the rally site, Bangkok’s Royal Plaza, near the parliament.

The rally was not banned but police blocked demonstrators from accessing some streets near government buildings.

“We used tear gas because protesters were blocking police and did not comply with the security measures we put in place,” police spokesman Piya Uthaya told a local TV station, according to Reuters.

Police said they had seized various weapons, including knives and bullets, as protesters arrived.

Thai police have used tear gas against thousands of protesters calling for the overthrow of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in Bangkok

Thai police have used tear gas against thousands of protesters calling for the overthrow of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in Bangkok

The demonstration was organized by a new group calling itself Pitak Siam – or Protect Thailand.

Led by a retired army general, the group accuses Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration of corruption and ignoring insults to the revered monarchy.

“I promise that Pitak Siam will succeed in driving this government out,” former General Boonlert Kaewprasit said in his address to the rally.

“The world will see this corrupted and cruel government. The world can see the government under a puppet,” he said later.

The group has attracted the support of various royalist groups including “yellow shirt” members of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) who helped destabilize governments either led or backed by Thaksin Shinawatra in 2006 and 2008.

He remains a deeply divisive figure in Thailand. Ousted in a 2006 military-backed coup, he fled the country in 2008 shortly before being found guilty of abuse of power.

Earlier this week, Yingluck Shinawatra, who was democratically elected in 2011 with a large majority, ordered nearly 17,000 police to be deployed during the rally and invoked a special security law.

“They [the government] like to claim they got 15 million votes. I’m here to show I was not one of them. So don’t count me in. I didn’t choose you,” one unnamed protester told the Associated Press.

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Vaginal whitening wash Lactacyd White Intimate, a product that promises to make your private area “safely fairer within four weeks”, has hit the beauty market in Thailand.

Lactacyd White Intimate comes after huge controversy was sparked when 18 Again – an Indian pharmaceutical “vaginal tightening and rejuvenating cream” came onto the market earlier this year.

The latest product’s advert, which is online, on TV and on radio, shows an attractive, fair-skinned young woman complaining about how tight shorts can leave skin looking darker.

Vaginal whitening wash Lactacyd White Intimate promises to make your private area safely fairer within four weeks

Vaginal whitening wash Lactacyd White Intimate promises to make your private area safely fairer within four weeks

The young woman then waltzes off in a tiny pair of white shorts as a voice-over states that the product can help skin become “bright and translucent”.

In a country where fair skin is synonymous with success, skin and body hair whitening products are readily available – and the industry is expected to reap $2 billion this year alone- but this is the first vaginal whitening wash to hit the shelves.

When 18 Again hit the shelves in India, not only did women voice the opinion on Twitter that 18 Again was created by Ultratech purely to cash in on female insecurities, but many criticized the accompanying TV advert.

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