World News

TIMELINE: Ten days of street protests in Thailand

(Reuters) - Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej said on Thursday that he would neither quit nor dissolve parliament in the face of a street campaign led by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD).

The protests began in Bangkok in late May and have escalated over the past 10 days after thousands of protesters occupied the prime minister’s official compound.

Here is a timeline charting recent unrest.

* Aug 26: Thousands of demonstrators storm state broadcaster NBT and Samak’s official compound in a PAD-organized attempt to unseat his seven-month-old government.

* Aug 27: Thai court orders protesters to leave government compound, issues arrest warrants for nine PAD leaders for inciting unrest and trying to overthrow government.

* Aug 28: About 40,000 protesters defy deadline to leave. Police unable to arrest leaders due to sheer numbers barricaded inside the compound behind makeshift barriers of car tires and razor wire.

* Aug 29: Unrest peaks. Police fire teargas and rubber bullets to repel 2,000 protesters who attack Bangkok’s police headquarters; scuffles break out as they deliver eviction orders at Government House. Demonstrations spread south, forcing closure of airports in Krabi and Phuket. Rail services disrupted by strikes.

* Aug 30: Samak holds firm, vows not to quit.

* Aug 31: More than 1,000 government supporters rally outside parliament as lawmakers debate the street campaign. Samak vows never to bow to protesters.

* Sept 1: Public sector unions threaten nationwide strike on September 3 unless Samak quits. Government says unrest is turning into guerrilla war after a small bomb explodes in a Bangkok police booth; no one is injured.

* Sept 2: Samak declares state of emergency after one person is killed and about 45 people hurt in overnight clashes between his supporters and anti-government protesters. All public gatherings banned in Bangkok. Army chief says force will not be used to break up occupation of government compound.

* Sept 3: Thai foreign minister quits as protests drag on. Hundreds of riot police outside Government House make no move towards the thousands of protesters camped inside. Public sector strike causes little disruption.

* Sept 4: Prime Minister Samak says he will neither quit nor dissolve parliament. Barricaded inside the prime minister’s compound, the PAD vows to stay until Samak resigns.

Source: Reuters

Compiled by Gillian Murdoch, Beijing Editorial Reference Unit