BANGKOK – Protesters in Thailand’s capital entered the Finance Ministry compound Monday in an escalating campaign to topple the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
A crowd of protesters swarmed into the compound’s courtyard and then entered buildings, including the ministry itself and the Budget Bureau, in the boldest act yet of opposition-led protests that started last month. The intrusion came as protesters fanned out to 13 locations across Bangkok in the biggest demonstrations since the deadly unrest of 2010.
Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, a former deputy prime minister and opposition lawmaker, urged the crowd to enter the Budget Bureau and to cut electricity and water to pressure the agency to stop financing government projects. “Go up to every floor, go into every room, but do not destroy anything,” Suthep told the crowd. “Make them see this is people’s power.”
Protesters say they want Yingluck to step down amid claims that her government is controlled by her older brother, ousted former leader Thaksin Shinawatra.