Protests Won't Disrupt New Year Celebration: Paradorn

Members of Student and People Network For Political Reform of Thailand posing for photo with the Thai national flag, 16 December 2013

(17 December) Chief of the National Security Council has assured the public that the ongoing anti-government protests won?t spoil the festive mood for New Year celebration.

Lt.Gen. Paradorn Pattanatabutr told reporters that although the protests will continue to 2014, the protesters will refrain from engaging in new offensives during the New Year festival. 
"I believe they will renew their campaigns next year," Lt.Gen. Paradorn said, citing intelligence reports. 
He was speaking prior to Cabinet meeting at Army Club in Bangkok. 
According to Lt.Gen. Paradorn, the protests have greatly dwindled from their peak on 9 December. The number of protesters last night (16 December) stands at 4,000-5,000 people, he said, and only 1,000 people were present at the protest site in the morning.
He expected the protesters, led by People′s Committee for Absolute Democracy With the King As Head of State (PCAD), to besiege the offices of the Election Committee in the future, since the PCAD has demanded that an unelected People′s Council must be formed to "reform" Thai political system before any election can take place.
However, as of the moment only the core supporters of Student and People Network For Political Reform of Thailand are taking the helm of offensive movements, Lt.Gen. Paradorn said, with the rest of protesters remaining in their position. 
Asked by a reporter whether he believes any political party is behind the anti-government protests, Lt.Gen. Paradorn said it′s normal for political wings of political parties to mobilise their supporters in their local areas. 


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