Thai protesters call for 'class war', vow more rallies

The National Human Rights Commission met on Thursday with Abhisit in a bid to defuse tension and get the two sides to talk.

Thai protesters call for 'class war', vow more rallies

Anti-government demonstrators vowed to extend their protest in the Thai capital indefinitely, after taking their attention-grabbing tactic of pouring bottles of their own blood to the prime minister's home.

On Bangkok's streets, the red-shirted protesters called for a "class war" and threatened to make life unbearable for Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva after splashing blood on the gates of his home and office, forcing him to sleep in a military base and preventing him from attending parliament.

Kosin Sripaiboon, head of research at UOB Kay Hian Securities in Bangkok, predicted the protests could last weeks, possibly into May, urging investors to remain cautious.

"We believe the red shirts have enough capacity to continue and it could extend into April or May," Kosin said.

The protesters, supporters of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, say they have been marginalised by the military, urban elite and royalists who back Abhisit. They said they will ride across Bangkok on Saturday in pick-up trucks and motorcycles in an attempt to convince others to join them.

"It will be the beginning of a class war," Nattawut Saikua, a protest leader, told reporters.

Concerns protesters may block the entry and exit points to government buildings have stopped Abhisit from going to his office or attending a parliamentary session near the main protest site. Roads have also been partly blocked in the historic heart of the city, testing the patience of Bangkok residents.

Abhisit, an Oxford-educated economist who came to power at the end of 2008, has operated since Friday from a fortified military base that has doubled as a safe house.

The National Human Rights Commission met on Thursday with Abhisit in a bid to defuse tension and get the two sides to talk.

"If the protests are within the rules, the government has no problem with a talk," Abhisit told a news conference. But he declined to say whether there are plans to begin negotiations.

Thaksin now has Montenegrin citizenship and arrived there earlier this week, officials in the Balkan country said on Wednesday.

After a strategy meeting, the Red Shirt leaders said they would keep up their presence in an old part of Bangkok that is a traditional venue for political demonstrations.

"We'll maintain our stronghold, but there will be rotation of manpower," said one of the protest leaders, Veera Musikapong.

More than 100,000 demonstrators converged on the capital Sunday, and organizers boasted that they would topple the government within days. But the crowd shrunk Wednesday to around 40,000, according to Maj. Gen. Vichai Sangparpai, a metropolitan police commander.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Mart 2010, 16:57