Protesters blockading Government Savings Bank, cripple southern provinces administration today


BANGKOK, Jan 20 – Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban has vowed to lead anti-government protesters to seal off the Government Savings Bank (GSB) today as people in 14 southern provinces are set to paralyse the provincial  administrative system.

Mr Suthep said members of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) will close the GSB headquarters to protect depositors’ interest.

The government, which has lost Bt400 billion from the rice pledging scheme, has forced the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperative (BAAC) to finance payment to farmers but the bank refused, he said.

Mr Suthep said the GSB was the government’s next target for financial resources, compelling the PDRC to protect the public’s and depositors’ interest.

Krung Thai Bank was another financial institution warned by the PDRC secretary general against extending loans to the government.

“Let me warn the executives of Krung Thai Bank against serving the Thaksin regime. If they let the government borrow, we will also close it to protect the people’s interest,” he said.

Mr Suthep said Thai people should not pay attention to the government’s planned election on Feb 2 which will definitely not  take place.

“Yingluck Shinawatra will never win the election. We will see to it that everything is finished before Feb 2,” he announced.

He said the Shinawatra family must be accountable for yesterday’s bombing at the Victory Monument in which 28 people, five of them women including a reporter of Post Today, the Thai-language newspaper, were injured. Seven of them were in serious condition.

Mr Suthep said caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul was completely irresponsible for saying that the Friday’s bombing at Banthat Thong intersection was triggered by anti-government protesters. Mr Surapong is concurrently chairman of the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order.

Mr Surapong said yesterday that two PDRC members threw a bomb into protesters who marched with Mr Suthep on Banthat Thong Road on Friday in attempt to create the situation.

He ruled out the necessity of deploying military forces to maintain security at rally sites, insisting that combined police and military personnel have been doing their jobs.

Deputy Metropolitan Police Commander Adul Narongsak condemned the explosion at Banthat Thong as brutal but insisted that the bomb was not thrown onto protesters from a building.

“It is hardly possibly to do that. There are lots of obstructing materials including roadside trees and electrical wires,” he said.

“Footage from closed-circuit and media cameras clearly showed that the bomb could not be hurled from higher ground.”