Suthep declares war on PM, protesters rally at Defence Permanent Secretary’s Office today

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BANGKOK, Feb 19 – Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban is leading demonstrators from all rally sites in Bangkok to the Office of the Defence Permanent Secretary today to strengthen pressure on embattled caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

He called on People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) supporters to drive their cars to pick up fellow demonstrators and deliver them to Muang Thong Thani  where the Office of the Defence Permanent Secretary is located.

Ms Yingluck has used the Office of the Defence Permanent Secretary as her temporary office since protesters seized Government House and blockaded all entrances.

The PDRC’s plan to rally at the Office of the Defence Permanent Secretary coincides with farmers’ planned demonstration to demand rice payments from the state subsidy scheme.

Farmers who have been rallying in front of the Commerce Ministry announced that they would return to the Office of the Defence Permanent Secretary today after their talks with caretaker Deputy Prime Minister/Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong on overdue payments failed.

Mr Suthep urged protesters to drive their cars to the four rally venues – Pathumwan, Ratchprasong, Asoke and Lumpini – to take others along since Muang Thong Thani would be too far to walk from the city centre.

“We will chase Yingluck wherever she goes. We will chase her until she can’t stay in the country. From (today) onward, we will chase her every day. Provincial people who join the protest should drive your cars,” he announced in an emotional speech on Pathumwan rally stage last night.

Mr Suthep claimed that he was contacted by a person who told him that Ms Yingluck would be willing to resign on the condition that she approves a candidate as the next prime minister.

“I told the person that Thai people would never surrender to Yingluck. We have nothing to lose. We will fight though there’ll be only one person left. No negotiation, no compromise.”

Mr Suthep said the fight against Yingluck would be strengthened, starting today after the government over-reacted in its suppression against protesters.

Four protesters, one policeman were killed and 66 others injured in the police crackdown at Phan Fah Bridge and nearby Ratchadamnoen Avenue, yesterday.