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Thailand brace for another day of protest


Thailand protesters have vowed to seize the Police headquarters here today

AP12_3_2013_000004BBangkok: Thailand braced itself for another round of anti-government protests by opposition parties who have vowed to seize the Police headquarters here today in an attempt to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

However, the metropolitan police in Bangkok has said that they would allow the protesters to seize the bureau.

Metropolitan Police Bureau Commissioner Pol Lt Gen Khamronvit Thupkrajang today said that police guarding the bureau would no longer fire teargases to fend off protesters.

The protest leader, Suthep Thaugsuban, a former deputy premier and ex-MP of Democrat Party, has said protesters will ‘seize’ the bureau by this afternoon.

Khamronvit said he had instructed police to open the line and clap to welcome the protesters when they arrive, Nation newspaper said.

“There will be no clash today. If the protesters want to seize the Metropolitan Police, let them,” local daily quoted Khamronvit as saying.

“I’ve told my subordinates not to fire teargases. If anything happens, I’ll take responsibility,” he said.

He added that the prime minister also gave cash of two million baht for him to distribute to police officers on duty, Nation online added.

For the past week, thousands of protesters have marched in Bangkok in a bid to unseat Yingluck, whom they accuse of acting as a proxy for her fugitive brother and former premier Thaksin Shinwatra, who was overthrown in a coup in 2006.

Thaksin, who is in self-exile in Dubai, faces corruption charges. The opposition Democrat Party started the protests against a controversial Amnesty Bill, the passing of which would have allowed Thaksin to return home.

The country is facing its largest protests since 2010, when thousands of “red-shirt” Thaksin supporters occupied key parts of the capital. More than 90 people, mostly civilian protesters, died over the course of the two-month sit-in.


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