(14 October) The breakaway anti-government protesters continue to occupy the road near Uruphong Intersection in a bid to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, despite a plea from a top official who asked them to relocate their rally.
The protesters were originally a part of the People′s Force of Democracy to Overthrow Thaksinism (PEFOT) which held a rally against Ms. Yingluck in front of Government House last week.
When PEFOT leadership agreed to move their rally to Lumpini Park as requested by the government in order to vacate the area for the visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, a number of dissenting protesters refused to retreat and instead staged a rally of their own at Uruphong Intersection.
Today, Pol.Gen. Pracha Promnok, Deputy Prime Minister, said he is concerned of the safety of the PEFOT splinter group, as they are currently staging a rally in an open space under the tollway, which is vulnerable to attacks from ill-intentioned individuals.
Previously, a molotov cocktail was thrown at the protest camps, presumably from one of the overhanging tollways. The police say the investigation into the attack is ongoing.
"I would like to ask the protesters to move their rally to Lumpini Park, so we can provide better security for them," Pol.Gen. Pracha said, adding that he is fearful of interference by a ?third hand party? which might seek to escalate the situation.
Speaking at Government House, Pol.Gen. Pracha said he had been informed that the protesters have refused to retreat and are waiting for reinforcements from other provinces. "The protesters have the right to do that. We will provide them security as best we could," he told reporters.
However, he insisted that the protesters are causing much inconvenience to the public by blocking the traffic.
The protesters, now banded under the name of Student and People Network For Political Reform of Thailand, are said to be led by a number of student activists from Ramkhamhaeng University.
The number of the protesters varies greatly throughout the day ranging from 300 – 2,000 people. The size of the protest is visibly larger than previous rallies organised by PEFOT in recent months, and has apparently unnerved the authorities.
Claiming that it has learned of the protesters? possible plan to march into Government House or other governmental offices, the police sealed off 14 roads around the governmental districts from all traffics. Additional riot police and barricades were also reinforced around Government House.
A spokesman of the Bangkok Metropolitan Police said in a press conference that it has been reported that the protesters at Uruphong intersection will be joined by the masses mobilised from various provinces, such as Buriram, Nakhon Si Thammarat, and Surat Thani.
He asserted that the protesters are plotting to surround Government House and Parliament House in order to disrupt the upcoming sessions on legislatures opposed by the protesters.
Mr. Suphon Attawong, deputy secretary of the Prime Minister, went as far as to claim the ongoing protests are tacitly supported by the Democrat Party, alleging that the protest leaders had personal ties with the opposition party.
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