Suthep declares end to PDRC “Bangkok Shutdown”


BANGKOK, March 1 — The anti government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban on Friday announced an end to “Bangkok Shutdown,” by removing stages at the rally sites of Asoke, Silom, Pathumwan, Ratchaprasong intersection, leaving a remaining one at Lumpini Park.

In a surprise move, Mr Suthep, the secretary general of People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) addressed supporters at the Pathumwan rally site that the PDRC would return traffic around Bangkok to the public on Monday.

There would be no more rally sites at Asoke, Silom, Pathumwan, Ratchaprasong, he said, adding that new stage would be set up at Lumpini Park which would run 24 hours of protest.

He said Lumpini Park has facilities for meeting to brainstorm the blueprint for national reform.

The “Bangkok Shutdown” started on January 13 in an attempt to put pressure against caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to resign, opening the way for politcial reform.

Mr Suthep asserted that the PDRC would continue to fight against what the group called the “Thaksin regime.”

He said the PDRC would rearrange its plan and would target to seal off government offices and Shinawatra’s family business.

The campaign to call on government officials to stop working would continue, he said.

As for the proposed talks with the Ms Yingluck to find solution for the political crisis, Mr Suthep said that the talks should not be closed door discussions but televised nationwide. He reiterated that it would not be a debate and stressed that he has no preconditions for the talks.

Mr Suthep also said that he would not attend talks in front of the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon as he did not believe anyone would understand the problems better than Thais.

Mr Suthep added that he was not the one who proposed the talks but the caretaker prime minister and he have agreed to the idea.