Related News

Home » World

Rampage chaos and shouts of jubilation

RUSHING past a thin line of Thai soldiers, hundreds of red-shirted protesters hurled themselves against the glass facade and - suddenly with a crash - smashed their way into the site of an Asian summit in Pattaya.

There were screams of jubilation and then the crowd surged through the lobby, searching room after room for Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

The storming of the Asian summit in Thailand yesterday prompted its immediate cancellation and the evacuation of leaders by helicopter.

They were lunching at an adjacent hotel and not caught up in the melee, which was a mix of mob rampage and frolicking fun.

Some anti-government protesters grabbed flowers from a display and helped themselves to drinks off buffet tables, while others turned over tables full of coffee cups and kicked trash cans.

Chaotic scene

Some used the restrooms and lounged on sofas, while hundreds raced up and down escalators in a chaotic scene that combined young men wearing ski masks and goggles alongside elderly women waving Thai flags.

Even a bare-chested foreigner joined them, yelling, "we've had enough of rich people."

Hundreds of soldiers were in the vicinity outside but made no effort to stop the protesters or remove them from the building, where they remained for about an hour.

When protesters descended downstairs to the summit's media center they were met by a sea of reporters glad to get a sound bite.

"We want to tell Abhisit himself that this meeting cannot go on," protest leader Arisman Pongreungrong said after leading the mob into the convention hall.

Another protest leader, Pichet Sukjindathong, said if he found Abhisit he would "tell him to get out. We just want only to talk to him."

The protesters were supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was deposed in a 2006 military coup for alleged corruption and abuse of power. They said Abhisit was not elected by the people and should step down so elections could be held.

Several protesters could be seen nursing bloody cuts, apparently from the shattered glass when they stormed in. One was carried out of the building and another had rags wrapped around his injured arm.

Just over half an hour after they arrived, word circulated that the summit had been called off, prompting cheers that echoed through the halls.

The protesters retreated up the stairs and then abandoned the building, leaving behind shards of shattered glass and drops of blood on the marble floors.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend