Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has made a late-night
television appearance to assure citizens that his government remains in
In a midnight address Sunday,Mr. Abhisit urged people to
remain calm after deposed leader Thaksin Shinawatra called on his
supporters to rise up against the government.
Prime Minister Abhisit appeared on television with his Cabinet ministers and law enforcement authorities.
Earlier Sunday, Mr. Thaksin urged thousands of supporters gathered in
the capital, Bangkok, to carry out a people's revolution. Speaking by
phone, the exiled government opponent vowed to return to Thailand if
authorities attack his supporters.
Mr. Abhisit imposed emergency measures Sunday after demonstrators
forced the government to cancel an ASEAN summit and evacuate leaders by
helicopter from Pattaya Saturday.
Those measures failed to stop a mob from attacking Mr. Abhisit's car
with stones, sticks, poles and potted plants as it tried to leave the
Interior Ministry compound Sunday. The prime minister escaped unhurt.
Police say they have arrested protest leader Arisman Pongreungrong.
Despite the heavy presence of troops and tanks throughout Bangkok,
demonstrators appear to be facing little resistance from security
forces. Some even managed to climbed on top of armored vehicles to wave
flags and shout anti-government slogans on Sunday. They want Mr.
Abhisit to step down and call new elections.
The unrest is the latest element of a political crisis that began when
the military deposed Mr. Thaksin in 2006, accusing him of corruption
and abuse of power.
Thailand's current prime minister, Mr. Abhisit, is the third person to hold the post in a year.