Police have filed charges against several of the protest leaders [Reuters]
Thaksin Shinawatra, the former Thai prime minister, has appealed for calm after some of the most violent protests since his overthrow in a bloodless coup last September.
Speaking in Hong Kong, Thaksin called on his supporters to recognise “that Thailand has been known as a peaceful country. So I want to see peaceful things happen in Thailand.”
Some 270 police and protesters were injured in clashes on Sunday night as police moved to break up a demonstration in the capital, Bangkok.
The protest was led by former senior members of Thaksin’s now disbanded Thai Rak Thai party.
Video footage broadcast on Thailand’s PTV network, a broadcaster which backs the former prime minister, showed police beating some protesters with batons and using pepper spray.
The leaders of the anti-coup protest have said they plan to file assault charges against the Thai police.
However, the police themselves have also filed charges against six people that say were ringleaders of the protest.
The arrested suspects were charged with “causing chaos, obstructing the work of authorities, and damage of state property” a police spokesman told the Associated Press.
Protesters have vowed
to fight on [Reuters]
The clashes broke out after several thousand people demonstrated outside the Bangkok home of Prem Tinsulanonda, a former prime minister and army commander who is chief advisor to the Thai king
The protesters accused Prem – who is reported to have close ties with the leader of last year’s coup – of instigating Thaksin’s overthrow.
Despite warnings of arrest, the organisers of Sunday’s protest said they would continue to hold further demonstrations.
On Monday a smaller protest took place in central Bangkok, with video screens playing footage of the clashes the night before.
The protesters, who have labelled themselves the United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship, accused the police of provoking the violence on Prem’s orders.
“We condemn the actions last night. We will fight back,” Jakraphob Penkair, a protest organiser, told reporters.
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