Protest leader Suthep declares Bangkok seizure after New Year


BANGKOK, Dec 28 – Anti-government protesters will launch an intensive seizure of Bangkok after the New Year to reclaim sovereignty for the people, protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban announced.

In a harsh speech to demonstrators at Democracy Monument last night, the former Democrat MP called on provincial people who wanted to join the “Bangkok blitz” to wait for a signal and promptly travel to the capital.

He said, “Bring your clothes, food and necessities for our victory may take months. Bangkok residents should clear their work before the New Year. We will shut down and occupy Bangkok a few days after the New Year. We won’t leave even a single inch to let people in the Thaksin regime to abuse us.

“Bangkok people who feel uncomfortable will have time to manoeuvre, leaving those with the hearts to fight to join hands in wiping out the Thaksin regime.”

He thanked the private sector for clearly showing their stance in favour of national reform and said Thai people from all walks of life should cooperate in accomplishing the movement for Thailand’s future.

Mr Suthep said those killed and injured in clashes with the authorities will be given financial aid from the fund of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC).

Relatives of ill-fated victims, including a policeman, will be given one million baht each, he said, adding that money in the PDRC’s account was withdrawn before it was frozen at the order of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI).

Owners of vehicles and motorcycles damaged during the clashes will also get compensations from the PDRC fund, he said.

He said he learned that authorities have assigned a special unit to arrest core protest leaders particularly he and Nititorn Lamlua, advisor of the Network of Students and People for the Reform of Thailand (NSPRT), before December 30.

“It doesn’t matter if I’m the core leader or not. People are ready to continue the fight until they win. Our sadness [for the protesters’ deaths and injuries] will be the driving force for our unity,” he said.

Mr Suthep expressed appreciation to the Election Commission for urging the government to delay the February 2 general elections after Thursday’s clashes and called on provincial election commissioners not to act against the will of the people.

Nationwide registration of constituency candidates in the provinces starts today and ends on Wednesday.