Wednesday, 17 March 2010
BANGKOK - THURDAY 18TH MARCH
The United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship’s offensive on Thailand’s capital Bangkok looks to be entering it’s twilight hours as thousands of supporters make their way home, weather beaten and hungry.
Paradoxically, security levels have been beefed up in response to alleged CIA intelligence concerning a ‘hardcore’ element within the movement bend on stirring violent unrest. Security authorities in Bangkok claim to have cause for concern as possible acts of ‘sabotage’ are planned around the city. The U.S government vehemently denies these claims. Deputy Prime Minister Southep Thughuban commented yesterday stating, ‘If these attacks take place it would have a devastating impact.’
Numbers at the protest have fallen from a peak of around 100,000 on Sunday, to about 15,000 yesterday morning according to Bangkok Post estimates. The UDD leadership acknowledged the dwindling numbers but remain defiant saying fresh reinforcements will soon arrive from other provinces. Ousted Prime Minister Thaskin Sinnawatra called for all within the movement to keep up the pressure on the government: ‘We have to maintain our strength” he said via video link yesterday. Reports say he is presently in Montenegro. Despite this hard talk, investigators on the ground said that the majority of red shirts would be on their home by Friday.
Yesterday Prime Minister Abhisit reiterated his wish to hold talks with the UDD leadership to discuss the situation, although he refuses outright to dissolve Thailand’s lower parliament.