Friday 19 January 2018

Thailand PM defends amnesty bill amid nationwide protests

A protester waves a Thai national flag as he joins others in a rally at the Democracy Monument in central Bangkok
A protester waves a Thai national flag as he joins others in a rally at the Democracy Monument in central Bangkok
A protester shouts slogans as he joins others in a rally at the Democracy Monument in central Bangkok
A protester uses a clapper as she joins others in a rally at the Democracy Monument in central Bangkok
An anti-government protester waves a national flag in front of Democracy Monument during a rally against a political amnesty bill in Bangkok, Thailand
Anti-government protesters wave clapping tools during a rally against a political amnesty bill in Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand's prime minister has defended a political amnesty bill that has sparked large protests in the country's capital.

Opponents of the bill say it is designed to bring former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra back from overseas exile.

His sister and the current prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, said in a televised address that the amnesty could solve the country's longstanding political divisions.

The bill would grant amnesties to leaders and others involved in the sometimes violent conflicts.

It was passed by the House of Representatives on Friday. A group of senators said they will reject the bill when they debate it next week.

Yingluck said she believes the lower house will accept the senate's decision, suggesting that her government will not push the legislation further if the senate rejects it.

Press Association

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