Thailand protest leader calls for last chance protest

Last Updated: Friday, December 6, 2013 - 23:39

Bangkok: A prominent Thai opposition leader, who has been leading protests against the government for the past few weeks, Friday set December 9 as the `D-Day` for the mass campaign to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and vowed to surrender to authorities if the action fails.

After two days of relative calm to honour revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who turned 86 yesterday, former deputy premier Suthep Suagsuban said late tonight that he would lead protesters to the Government House on Monday.

"If the people do not come out, I will surrender to go to jail. I will not fight anymore," Suthep said in a speech to supporters. "Live or die, lose or win -- we will know on Monday December 9."

Suthep, who has been accused of sedition, said protesters will not force into the Government House with the intention to occupy it.

He called on people to leave their offices or houses and join the demonstrations to show their support to uproot the `Thaksin Regime` as well as what he alleged was the corrupt and illegitimate government of Yingluck Shinawatra.

"I will accept the results of the December 9 battle. If we don`t win, I will turn myself in to face the charge," he told the cheering crowds here.

Meanwhile, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration`s Erawan emergency medical service centre has reported that three people were injured in two clashes near the anti-government demonstration site near the Finance Ministry late last night.

According to the Erawan Emergency Medical Service, a 46-year-old man suffered a gun shot wound to his arm. Another two people injured during a clash between a gang of motorcyclists and anti-government-protesters.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has cancelled her official visit to Russia planned for December 8-9 because of the current political chaos, Government spokesman Teerat Ratanasevi said.

She has also cancelled a visit to Myanmar to attend the opening ceremony of SEA Games on December 11 and assigned Deputy Prime Minister Niwatthumrong Boonsongpaisan to attend the Asean-Japan meeting between December 12-15 in Tokyo on her behalf.

Yingluck earlier postponed a trip to Singapore scheduled for November 26-27.

Several days of violence that killed five people and wounded at least 289 ended abruptly on Tuesday as both sides set aside their differences to honour the revered King.

The current standoff was sparked by an amnesty bill, since abandoned by the ruling Pheu Thai Party, that could have allowed the return of Thaksin Shinawatra, brother of Yingluck Shinawatra and former prime minister, whose ouster by royalist generals in 2006 unleashed years of political unrest.

PTI

First Published: Friday, December 6, 2013 - 23:39

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