Thai interior ministry remains closed, blocked by protesters; finance ministry reopens


BANGKOK, Dec 11 – Civil servants in Thailand’s interior ministry could not enter their offices to work today as anti-government protesters continue occupying the ministry compound, while workers at the finance ministry returned to work for the first time in 14 days.

Protesters of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) remained encamped at the interior ministry, while Assadang Road outside the ministry is inaccessible to traffic as protesters blocked the way with barbed wire fences.

The authorities have asked the protesters to open way for the government workers, but their request was rejected despite other ministries being reopened by now. The demonstrators claimed that the blockade remains at the interior ministry as it is the command centre for 76 provinces nationwide.

The protesters said the closure period of the ministry depends on the decision of protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban.

At finance ministry headquarters in Bangkok’s Soi Aree, civil servants returned to work today as the demonstrators left the compound Monday.

Police officers, forensic police and bomb squad units inspected the compound before Permanent-Secretary for Finance Rangsan Srivorasart announced that government employers could return to the ministry today.

The initial investigation found that 25 laptop computers, some external hard disks, 11 IPads and Samsung Galaxy Tabs, as well as 26 mobile phones were missing from the premises. The authorities also reported damage to civil servants personal belongings at the Budget Bureau.

Electricity is expected to be fully restored within today.

Schools situated in Bangkok near the rally sites at Nang Lerng intersection and Chamai Maruchet Bridge, including Rajavinit Matthayom School and Rajamangala University of Technology Phra Nakhon, remain closed as protesters still occupy the areas.