US concerned about rising tension in Thailand
Updated: 2013-11-26 11:03
Anti-government protesters gather at police barricades near a government building which they chose as a protest site, in Bangkok November 25, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
WASHINGTON -- The United States on Monday expressed concern about the rising tension in Thailand and called for restraint from violence in the face of mass anti-government demonstrations.
"The US government is concerned about the rising political tension in Thailand and is following the ongoing demonstrations in Bangkok closely," State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said in a statement.
"We urge all sides to refrain from violence, exercise restraint, and respect the rule of law," she added, denouncing violence and the seizure of public or private property as means "not acceptable " for resolving political differences.
Thousands of anti-government protesters broke barricades and police lines on Monday to get inside the premises of the Finance Ministry in Bangkok, in an escalating bid to overthrow Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Former deputy premier Suthep Thaugsuban who led the anti- government protesters from Rajdamnern Avenue to the ministry in Samsen area said he might also have the demonstrators occupy the headquarters of all other ministries from Tuesday to paralyze the government headed by Yingluck Shinawatra.
Anti-government rallies in Thailand, which began last month, were triggered by a government-backed amnesty bill that could have led to the return of Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister and brother of incumbent Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
"We call upon all sides to uphold international norms that guarantee freedom of the press and the safety of journalists," Psaki said. "The United States firmly believes all parties should work together to resolve differences through peaceful dialogue in ways that strengthen democracy and rule of law."