Protestor immolates self at Thai parliament to protest corruption
( dpa ) - A 44-year-old meatball seller set himself on fire in front of the Thai parliament Friday to demand the removal of a tainted government politician.
Security guards said the man drove up on a motorbike around dawn, stripped to his underpants, then poured oil on himself before lighting up.
The guards, who tried to put the flames out, said the protestor shouted the name of the house speaker, Yongyuth Tiyapairat, who has been found guilty of vote-buying in last December's national poll by the Election Commission.
The Bangkok Post online identified the protestor as Man Truatmanka, from the north-eastern province of Buri Ram. He was treated at Vajira Hospital for severe burns to his face and body.
The Yongyuth case is sensitive because if the commission links the ruling People Power Party to the house speaker's actions it could seek the party's disbandment.
The PPP is widely believed to represent the controversial former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a coup in September 2006. Thaksin is much hated by many in the military and older elites but remains popular in rural provinces.