Thailand shutdown: Protesters block major roads leading to Bangkok
Bangkok – In their latest push to unseat PM Yingluck Shinawatra, Thai protesters on Monday blocked all major roads leading to the capital to shut down Bangkok in a bid to disrupt the snap elections scheduled for Feb 2.
Ratcheting up their campaign against the PM, the protesters donning T-shirts with “Shutdown” inscribed on them, thronged the major intersections in the country.
The protesters want to topple the Shinawatra government and establish an unelected “People’s Council” that would oversee the electoral reforms.
The protesters are expected to converge on key sites in the capital in large numbers today.
Over 18,000 securitymen were deployed to maintain law and order in the capital.
The elections were called by the PM in face of the persistent protests led by Suthep Thaugsuban.
Suthep , who has vowed to uproot the Thaksin regime, has rejected the polls already, saying that it will retain the regime in place.
Speaking to the protesters from Bangkok’s Democracy Monument on Sunday, he roared that the elctions would result not in a “win-win situation, but only one win – referring to that of the Thaksin regime.
“The people cannot negotiate … there is no win-win situation, there is only win,” he said.
Suthep however said that he would give up if the violence escalated into a civil war, reported local newspapers.
Eight people have died in the protests and the demonstrations are said to be the biggest since that of 2010 when 90 people had been killed.
The protesters started their campaign in November last year that was triggered by a government bid to pass Amnesty law that would have paved the way for Thaksin Shinawatra’s return to the country.
The protesters allege that the current government is being run as a puppet regime by PM’s brother Thaksin Shinawatra.
Thaksin Shinawatra, who is now in a self-imposed exile, was ousted in 2006 in a coup after being accused of corruption and abuse of power.