In Pictures: Bangkok shut down by protests

Scenes of a carnival atmosphere as thousands of people rally in Thailand's capital in a bid to overthrow the government.


Scores of Thai citizens took the streets of Bangkok on Monday in another huge show of force aimed at ousting the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the sister of controversial former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, himself ousted in a 2006 military coup. 

With the intention of shutting down Bangkok, the anti-government protesters marched through the city centre, blocking key road junctions in a bid to bring the Thai capital to a standstill. Thailand's former Vice-Prime Minister, Suthep Thaugsuban, a sworn enemy of the Shinawatra clan and the leader of the People's Democratic Reform Committee that organised the protests, led marchers through the city, accepting donations from supporters along the way.

The protests were largely peaceful, but the threat of violence between the protesters and pro-government supporters loomed large over the day's events. Many observers also fear the military may yet intervene, as the army has a history of staging coups, and is a crucial political stakeholder in the country. 

The protests started in November, when the Yingluck government tried to pass an amnesty bill in parliament. The bill would likely have meant a pardon for her brother Thaksin, who has been in self-imposed exile in Dubai since 2008, facing two years in prison on corruption charges at home. The bill was dropped by the Senate, but the protesters are now bent on overthrowing what they call the "Thaksin regime", in a political environment which is becoming increasingly polarised and volatile.