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Thai police intends to arrest protest leader for treason

January 16, 2014, 14:41 UTC+3
Wednesday night, opposition leader Suthep Thaugsuban vowed to “close down all government institutions by the end of the week”
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Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban

Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban

© AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit

BANGKOK, January 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Thai police will arrest the protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban on charges of treason and attempt to overthrow the government. Head of Thailand’s National Police has ordered to organize a special group tasked with Suthep’s arrest.

The police are afraid that the arrest may provoke clashes between demonstrators and security forces. The warrant for Suthep’s arrest was executed two months ago, but he remains at large. The protest leader moves around Bangkok freely, and he is always surrounded by bodyguards and supporters. According to Thai laws, government treason is punished with death sentence or life imprisonment.

Unknown gunmen opened fire at the opposition camp in Bangkok on January 16. The attackers fired at least six times at the protesters. The demonstrators were not hurt, said the police.

Another attack on antigovernment protesters took place on one of the opposition’s sites, where a man threw a home-made grenade at the barricades. No one was hurt in the attack.

 

On Wednesday, two people were injured when shots were fired at the demonstrators. In another attack, an explosion went off at the residence of the leader of the opposition Democrat Party, Abhisit Vejjajiva. The explosion also destroyed the neighboring building, which belonged to the father of the former prime minister.

Protesters have been blocking major intersections in the center of Bangkok since January 13. Most people preferr not to use cars in the days of the “shut down.” As a result, environmental experts noted the decreasing levels of pollution in Bangkok.

The city is gradually returning to normal life. Schools and kindergartens re-open after a forced closure, and people come back to work. Demonstrators from southern provinces, where the opposition Democrat party holds the strongest position, stay to protest day and night. For them, big screens are set up near the camps.

On Wednesday evening, the leader of the protest movement Suthep Thaugsuban vowed to “close down all government institutions by the end of the week.” Demonstrators surround government buildings every day, trying to disrupt the work. According to the Thai government, some government workers moved to reserve facilities outside of Bangkok.

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