Monday, November 25, 2013

Anti-government protesters gather outside Thai gov't premises, TV stations

Thai protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban (C) addresses supporters inside the compound
of the Finance Ministry after protesters stormed it in Bangkok on November 25, 2013
(AFP, Christophe Archambault)   2013-11-25 15:16:27 

BANGKOK, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of anti-government protesters led by former deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban simultaneously demonstrated at varied government premises and mainstream TV stations in the Thai capital on Monday in a sustained bid to put an end to the alleged "Thaksin's rule" carried out by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Split up into 13 groups, the demonstrators proceeded from Rajdamnern Avenue to the premises of eight government agencies and five TV stations, where they called on all personnel working inside to join the prolonged street protests against the elected government.

Meanwhile, hundreds of other protesters under the guidance of the so-called Network of Students and People for Reform of Thailand proceeded from Makkawan Bridge, less than half a kilometer from Government House to other spots nearby and moved close to parliament where censure debate against the prime minister and Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.
Barricades were set up to keep the protesters from entering the premises, as hundreds of policemen stood guard each.

An estimated 8,000 policemen clad in riot gear and armed with batons and shields are deployed in and around Government House and adjacent spots on and near Rajdamnern Avenue.

Thai riot police stand guard during a demonstration in Bangkok on
November 25, 2013
Deputy Premier Pracha Promnok said the police will not use force against the protesters and suggested that Suthep open talk with the government to avert possibilities of aggravated street unrest, while Labor Minister Chalerm Yubamrung categorically dismissed speculation that Yingluck might step down or dissolve the House of Representatives to call a snap election following the imminent censure debate and subsequent vote of confidence.

No violence was reported to have occurred to the protesters or the police as yet.

As hundreds of the protesters proceeded on the streets to the perimeters of the army-run TV Channel 5, Yingluck decided to leave the station where she and top military commanders had arrived at earlier and been scheduled to tape an official well-wishing program for the Thai monarch's Dec. 5 birthday.

Yingluck was reportedly advised to leave for security reasons and avoid confrontation with anti-government protesters. Yingluck was led to Government House where she held a weekly cabinet meeting, preceded by a briefing by top security officials on the latest developments of the street protests.

Suthep and several former lawmakers of the opposition Democrat Party have urged the Bangkokians to rise up against the so-called Thaksinism, which they alleged is prone to corruption, referring to the running of the country previously by Thaksin and currently by his sister, Yingluck.

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