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Armored vehicles of the Thai army have broken through the main barricade into the camp of anti-government protesters in central Bangkok, according to news reports.
Sky News reported that the military had broken through the barricade on the northwest edge of Lumpini Park, the site of the main demonstration area for the so-called Red Shirt protesters, shooting sporadically as they entered the park. The channel reported that at least two people had been shot by soldiers.
BANGKOK -- The Thai government has claimed that the army has been successful in its initial push to clear a protest zone in central Bangkok. Government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn claimed protest leaders have fled the area. But one of the leaders, Nattawut Saikua, appeared on stage in the protest zone several minutes before Panitan spoke and said he has not fled. Channel 9 television station also said that Nattawut and two other leaders were still in the protest zone Wednesday. Panitan says "our security operation to secure the (protest zone) around Bangkok has been successful."
May 19 (Bloomberg) -- Prolonged political uncertainty in Thailand may hurt foreign direct investment, and a decline in the baht can’t be ruled out, Fitch Ratings associate director Vincent Ho said today. Thailand’s BBB foreign-currency credit rating, the second- lowest investment grade, already “reflect a certain degree of political uncertainty in Thailand and on its credit worthiness,” Ho said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “I would not underestimate the impact of the current events on foreign direct investment, especially its sentiment, going forward,” he said. While there’s been no sign of a crash in the Thai currency for now, “it’s hard to speculate, because everything is possible in Thailand,” he said.