Protest leader: Bangkok shutdown not limited to Jan 13


BANGKOK, Jan 3 – Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban has vowed that anti-government protesters will continue paralysing Thailand’s capital, starting from the January 13 city shutdown until the caretaker government resigns.

In his speech at Democracy Monument last night, he said stages will be set up at all major intersections and Bangkok streets will become promenades.

“Government officials won’t be able to commute to work as we’ll seize the entire city. We’ll cut off electricity and water supplies at government properties and residences of Cabinet members including the prime minister,” he said.

“People’s residences will be unaffected. The underground, Skytrain and buses will operate as usual. We’ll open at least one lane on every street for buses and ambulances.”

He said different groups of protesters will be in charge of setting up stages at different locations including the Silom business community at Lumpini Park, Chulalongkorn University at Pathumwan, National Institute of Development Administration at Asoke intersection, Kasetsart University staff and Northeastern people at Lad Prao intersection and Dr Seri Wongmontha at Ratchprasong.

Outside Bangkok, members of the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) will work closely with the private sector in staging protests in their respective provinces, he said.

Mr Suthep said Thai people do not abhor police but “we cannot tolerate bad people in police uniforms and we look forward to reforming the police administrative structure for fairness to junior policemen.”

He said some people have tried to negotiate with protest leaders but “we are not interested in any negotiation since our objective is not election but national reform.”

The former Democrat MP complimented National Police Commander Adul Saengsingkaew for admitting that the men in black who fired on protesters from the rooftop of the Labour Ministry, adjacent to the Thai-Japanese stadium, were police.

On December 23, anti-government protesters tried to break into the stadium to disrupt the registration of election candidates, organised by the Election Commission

Several protesters and policemen were killed and injured in the clashes during which a group of armed men, dressed in black, shot from the rooftop onto protesters

The Centre for Administration of Peace and Order earlier said the men in black were protesters, not police, while Metropolitan Police Commander Kamronwit Thoopkrachang said the gunmen on rooftop were third parties.

Mr Suthep urged the national police chief to disclose the identities of the persons who assigned the men in black to the rooftop.