A summit of Asian leaders in Thailand was cancelled on Saturday after anti-government protesters breeched security and swarmed into the media centre at the hotel complex where it was being held.
Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declared a state of emergency in Pattaya, where the East Asia Summit was being, a beach resort about 150 kms (90 miles) south of the capital, Bangkok.
"The task for me and the government now is to provide security for the leaders to travel back home safely," Abhisit said in a brief address on television.
The cancellation is a huge embarrassment for Abhisit's government, which came to power in December via parliamentary defections the opposition says were engineered by the military.
The East Asia Summit brings together the 10 member nations of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand for discussions about trade, economic issues and regional security.
The weekend's events will raise questions about how enduring his government can be after four prime ministers over the last 15 months have failed to resolve Thailand's deep political rifts.
Many of the leaders of 16 Asian nations due to attend the summit had already arrived or were arriving in Pattaya on Saturday.
Hundreds of red-shirted supporters of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra broke through lines of soldiers and smashed a window at the conference centre housing the media adjacent to the summit venue, the Royal Cliff hotel, blowing whistles, waving flags and shouting slogans.
Troops chased after them, but then bolted down the road to the hotel itself to prevent the protesters from reaching the venue where Asian leaders were scheduled to hold a lunch.
Calls for resignation
"The government has discussed with ASEAN leaders and we decided to postpone the meeting," spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn told reporters, shown on televsion.
The leaders of the 16 Asian countries attending the summit in the Thai beach resort of Pattaya will meet at lunch to decide how to continue with the meetings, Thai government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn told reporters.
Meanwhile, protesters chased by troops swarmed into the media centre at the hotel complex where an Asia summit is being held, breaking a window, witnesses said.
Hundreds of "red shirt" supporters of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra smashed into the media centre adjacent to the Royal Cliff hotel, blowing whistles, waving flags and shouting slogans against the government of Vejjajiva.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Nisan 2009, 20:05
A huge security cordon prevented them from reaching the hotel itself, where Asian leaders were to hold a lunch and decide whether and how to continue with the delayed summit.