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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs   15  January 2014  
Protesters to shut down govt buildings, hold PM and ministers captive

BANGKOK, Jan 14 – Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban today declared a total shutdown of state properties in the next few days and the possibility of holding the prime minister and some Cabinet members captive to force the government to resign.

In his announcement on stage at Asoke intersection, the former Democrat MP said Bangkok will be occupied round the clock until protesters win their months-long battle.

He disclosed that he was contacted this morning and offered to postpone the general election from Feb 2 to May 4 only to be told that an election delay was meaningless for the people who insisted on the prime minister and her ministers to resign en masse to pave the way for a good person to step into her shoes and lead the national reform.

“After my rejection, (that person) deplored that the government has stepped much further back. I told him that the government should make a jump if it can’t find the way to step down. Government buildings will be completely shut down in the next few days. I will take the lead,” said Mr Suthep to the cheering crowd.

“We will cut off electricity and water supplies at the residences of Cabinet members. They should send their family members out of the houses so they can run easily.”

Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra stood firm that she was not holding on to power for her political stability but she was merely performing her duty in preserving democracy.

“People are the genuine owners of sovereignty," she said. "I am protecting democracy for the people who are owners.”

The embattled premier said the government will discuss with the Election Commission (EC) tomorrow on setting a new election date and called on those invited to attend the forum.

EC members should attend the meeting to give their opinions on the legal aspect to postpone the election while political parties are welcome to exchange their points of view, she said.

EC commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn said earlier that a large-scale discussion would be fruitless and he would not attend the meeting. About 70 people have been invited.

Ms Yingluck said, “I beg EC members to directly listen to the meeting for a joint resolution. If we split the meetings into smaller groups, problems will be endless. There are two issues to be discussed: the election administration and legal aspects.”

The opposition Democrat Party and anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee have turned down the forum but Ms Yingluck said the government would do its best and wants the Democrat Party to announce its intention concerning the election.

“The duty of a political party is to run in an election. If rules and regulations are rejected, the country will not survive. Protesters should also join the reform forum to jointly solve the problems,” she said. (MCOT online news)

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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