Bangkok ‘shutdown’ set for January 13

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Bangkok protests Dec 2013Thailand’s anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban said in his “New Year speech” on December 1 that protest will resume in the coming days and called his followers to finally congregate to what he calls a “total shutdown” of Bangkok on Monday, January 13, which could be extended for up to 20 days to force the caretaker government of Yingluck Shinawatra step down.

Suthep said that about 20 stages would be set up at intersections in central Bangkok, with just one traffic lane remaining opened for ambulances and entrances to hospitals. Police vehicles and vehicles belonging to state agencies would not be allowed to pass. Taxi drivers should work in suburban areas because the protesters would take control of central Bangkok. It was not clear whether the “shutdown” will include urban rail transit, buses and airports.

Suthep added that key government officials would essentially kept captive in their homes in order to limit their activities. He threatened to cut electricity and water supply to homes of caretaker ministers and at all government office buildings.

Meanwhile, caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has asked the military to help police enforce law and order if protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban carries out his threat.

“It seems the country is in a state of lawlessness. People can do what they want,” a source quoted Yingluck as telling the armed forces leaders at a meeting on January 1.

But army commander General Prayuth Chan-ocha appeared uneasy about using soldiers to help police, the source said. The army was heavily criticised for its role in the 2010 political violence.

Police officials said that a “special unit” will be deployed to protect crowd control police if violence flares with protesters.

 

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Thailand’s anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban said in his “New Year speech” on December 1 that protest will resume in the coming days and called his followers to finally congregate to what he calls a “total shutdown” of Bangkok on Monday, January 13, which could be extended for up to 20 days to force the caretaker government of Yingluck Shinawatra step down.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Bangkok protests Dec 2013Thailand’s anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban said in his “New Year speech” on December 1 that protest will resume in the coming days and called his followers to finally congregate to what he calls a “total shutdown” of Bangkok on Monday, January 13, which could be extended for up to 20 days to force the caretaker government of Yingluck Shinawatra step down.

Suthep said that about 20 stages would be set up at intersections in central Bangkok, with just one traffic lane remaining opened for ambulances and entrances to hospitals. Police vehicles and vehicles belonging to state agencies would not be allowed to pass. Taxi drivers should work in suburban areas because the protesters would take control of central Bangkok. It was not clear whether the “shutdown” will include urban rail transit, buses and airports.

Suthep added that key government officials would essentially kept captive in their homes in order to limit their activities. He threatened to cut electricity and water supply to homes of caretaker ministers and at all government office buildings.

Meanwhile, caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has asked the military to help police enforce law and order if protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban carries out his threat.

“It seems the country is in a state of lawlessness. People can do what they want,” a source quoted Yingluck as telling the armed forces leaders at a meeting on January 1.

But army commander General Prayuth Chan-ocha appeared uneasy about using soldiers to help police, the source said. The army was heavily criticised for its role in the 2010 political violence.

Police officials said that a “special unit” will be deployed to protect crowd control police if violence flares with protesters.

 

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