Thailand's embattled prime minister begged protesters who have staged the most sustained street rallies in Bangkok in years to call off their demonstrations today and negotiate an end to the nation's latest crisis. The protesters have vowed to bring down Yingluck Shinawatra's government. And although thousands of them occupy the Ministry of Finance and are holed up in a sprawling government office complex where they camped overnight, they don't have the strength of numbers to succeed without more support or judicial or military intervention.
"Please call off the protests for the country's peace," Yingluck said. "I'm begging you, the protesters, because this doesn't make the situation any better." She spoke to reporters just before winning a parliamentary no-confidence vote. Lawmakers voted 297 to 134 against the motion, which never had a chance of succeeding because her party and its allies hold a comfortable majority in the House of Representatives. Former deputy PM Suthep Thaugsuban, who is leading the protests, has refused to enter negotiations. A warrant has been issued for his arrest, but there has been no overt attempt to act upon it. (Read more Yingluck Shinawatra stories.)