Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thai Protesters Plan to Shutdown Bangkok

ANTI-GOVERNMENT demonstrators are planning to overwhelm major intersections of Thailand's congested capital in what they claim is an attempt to shut down Bangkok.

This plan was feared to create violence that may set off a military coup.

The protesters are doing everything to make caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to resign.  They wanted her government changed by a non-elected interim administration to execute reforms they clam are required to put an end to corruption and money politics.

In February 2, they desire to rush a premature general election called by Yingluck.

Ever since November, the demonstrators were involved in street battles with police; they also cut off water and electricity to police headquarters and there was a time when they occupied the compounds of other government agencies.

Counting a policeman, at least eight people have died in violence connected with the political turbulence.

The protest leaders said last week that the demonstrators would occupy seven key intersections on Monday in Bangkok, a teeming city known for its debilitating traffic jams.

They are also menacing to invade government office compounds.

Late on Sunday of, groups of demonstrators begun arriving at some of the venues, where they said they would erect stages.

Earlier on Sunday, some demonstrators blocked a road in Bangkok's northern outskirts, where many government offices are located, said Deputy Police Spokesman Colonel Anucha Romyanan.

There were no instant confrontations with the authorities, who have guaranteed to demonstrate command in order to avoid violence.

Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said on Friday that a combined force of around 12,000 police officers and 8000 soldiers was being deployed to maintain order in the capital.

Protest leaders have said they will maintain their "shutdown" of Bangkok for weeks, or until they obtain their goal.

Their latest demonstrations have drawn up to 150,000-200,000 people at their height.
Worry about a coup is elevated since the army's history of intervening in politics.

Army commander General Prayuth Chan-ocha has turned down to rule out the possibility of a military conquest.

Another deputy prime minister, Pongthep Thepkanjana, said on Friday that be believed the army had learned a lesson from the 2006 coup - which ended up polarising Thailand rather than pacifying it - and that the international community and many Thais would be opposed to a military takeover.

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