Thai protesters cut power to govt HQ, ask Army to step in

Thai opposition protesters on Thursday cut power and water supplies to the government headquarters.

PTI| Updated: Dec 13, 2013, 01:18 AM IST

Bangkok: Thai opposition protesters on Thursday cut power and water supplies to the government headquarters and appealed to the powerful military to intervene to topple premier Yingluck Shinawatra amid a raging political crisis.

Suthep Thaugsuban, the anti-government leader of the People`s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), said the leaders of army, navy, airforce and police agreed to meet him and other protesters on Saturday to hear their political plans.

He claimed the mass movement would have won the battle against the government on December 9 when protesters held city-wide demonstrations but he had underestimated caretaker Prime Minister Shinawatra`s "stubbornness".

"Anything that has gone wrong because of my miscalculation [of Ms Yingluck] I apologise for as I know pretty well that you all have waited for victory several times," Suthep said addressing the protesters here.

Thai Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha earlier said he was not empowered to make the decision to respond to the call for a talk and protesters should avoid pushing the armed forces into the middle of the current conflicts.

"Justice is the most significant factor in solving the problems," he said.

The politically powerful army has staged or attempted 18 coups in the past 80 years, including the ousting of Yingluck`s brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, in 2006.

On Monday, Yingluck was forced to dissolve the lower house of the parliament and call an early election by February 2 as 160,000 protesters gathered around her office. The numbers on the street have dwindled considerably since the announcement.

For the past two weeks, thousands of protesters have marched in Bangkok in a bid to replace Yingluck with an unelected "People`s Council".

The protesters, led by former deputy premier Suthep, accuse Yingluck of acting as a proxy for her fugitive brother Thaksin.