Anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban rejected any attempt to broker talks between him and the caretaker government, but in many sites protest numbers dwindle, raising questions about PDRC ability to endure several months of continuous occupation.
Mr Suthep said there have been several proposals from parties to mediate talks to solve the stalemate, but did not elaborate.
‘‘I have noting to negotiate. It’s easy to end our protests, Yingluck [Shinawatra], the prime minister just quits and the people’s government and people’s legislative council are established ”
Riot Police is stepping in
Mr Suthep also ridiculed the CMPO’s operation to reclaim the rally sites, saying “every inch” of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee’s (PDRC) anti-government rally remained intact.
Riot police reclaimed a thoroughfare in the capital’s government district on Friday without resistance, but backed off from confrontation elsewhere in the city and made no move against the largest protest sites at intersections in the main shopping and business areas.
“Our mission is still going on, which is to reform the country” Ekkanat Promphan, the protesters’ spokesman, told reporters.
Hundreds of policemen together with trucks for detaining suspects were deployed at Chaengwattana road from Soi 14 to the TOT office early in the morning and they eventually sealed off the road to traffic.
It was reported that Pol Col Athip Pongsivapai, superintendent of Thung Song Hong police, would told talks with Phra Buddha Issara, leader of the protesters at the Chaengwattana protest site, for the return of the government complex at about 1 pm today.
Police tried yesterday to disperse the protesters but later retreated. The protesters did not put up violent resistance as they chanted prayers.
More pressure on PDRC financial backers
During three months of protests against the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, it has never been fully clear who was backing the protest movement.
Protest leaders have said that the protests cost more than $100,000 a day, including the costs of the giant screens and audio amplification at major intersections that protesters are blocking in Bangkok. The DSI (Thailand special police) said earlier this week that it was ready to reveal the name of 120 companies which have been providing funds to M. Suthep organization. But so far no concrete evidence have been made public to support these allegations, although a Thai newspaper has published a short list of 20 names including some major Thai companies.
Such companies could face indictment under the state of emergency decree, which prohibits financing any organization involved in public disorders
Emergency exit : another “judicial coup” ?
The anticorruption authorities have prioritized cases against Ms. Yingluck and the governing party, most prominently an investigation into a subsidy policy for rice farmers that has backfired on the government and may cost the country billions of dollars.
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Last year Thailand won worldwide praise for its effective measures to contain COVID-19. This year the government is facing growing public outrage over the failure to control new covid outbreaks, and the slow acquisition of vaccines.(more…)
Thailand falls to 73rd position in Economist’s Democracy Index
Within Southeast Asia, Thailand’s score regressed in 2020, falling to 73rd from 68th, including those related to the treatment of the opposition and to curbs on freedom of expression.
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