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Yingluck Shinawatra: "This is unlawful"

As protests continue in Thailand, we ask the prime minister how she will deal with the challenges facing her government.

Last updated: 02 Dec 2013 12:42
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Demonstrations in Bangkok are turning the city into a stage of siege. These were initially non-violent, however on Sunday, a protester was killed in clashes with police.

I think [in] this situation we have to be really careful because [it] is very sensitive …. We need to ask the people [to] please do not  close up the public services … [it] is unlawful. We respect the freedom of expression within the democratic way, within the legal way, we will like to encourage [the peaceful way], that is why our government [has] opened the dialogue for the protesters …

Yingluck Shinawatra, prime minister of Thailand

Concerned about a repeat from demonstrations three years ago, no one felt assured when Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra had to evacuate from the palace and move to a safe secret location.

It is Shinawatra who is at the centre of the storm - she still has strong support among those who voted for her but she has been in a hard political fight ever since an amnesty for her brother, the former prime minister, and other leaders was proposed - and accusations of continued corruption added to the crisis.

Shinawatra has rejected the demands of anti-government protesters who are attempting to topple her government and replace it with a "people's council", saying the demonstrations are unconstitutional.

"Anything I can do to make people happy, I am willing to do ... but as prime minister, what I can do must be under the constitution," she said in a televised address on Monday, on her first comments since violence broke out late Saturday after weeks of peaceful protest.

The protests have renewed fears of prolonged instability in one of Southeast Asia's biggest economies.

So what will she do now and what can she do? Is the military supporting her? Is she really in charge of the country? And is she prepared to reconsider the unpopular amnesty program?

In this episode of  Talk to Al Jazeera , Veronica Pedrosa talks to Yingluck Shinawatra, the prime minister of Thailand, about the current challenge that her country is facing, and she explains what is coming ahead.

 

 

 

Talk to Al Jazeera can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0430 and 1930; Sunday: 1930; Monday: 1430.   

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Al Jazeera
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