Aggressive ‘Red Shirt’ opposition protesters have reinstated that they will maintain their crippling rally in the Thai capital until Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaungsuban surrenders to the police over a deadly crackdown last month. The demand has doused speculation of an imminent end to a prolonged crisis that has killed 29 people and paralyzed an upscale commercial district at a cost to retailers of more than $30 million.
The protesters plan to ensure there were no double standards in the repercussions before agreeing to close down their protests. They said many of their members had been accused of terrorism or been subject to arrest warrants, so Mr Abhisit and Mr Suthep should be subject to the same scrutiny.
The Reds consider Abhisit's administration undemocratic because it came to power in a 2008 parliamentary vote after a controversial court ruling ousted elected allies of Thaksin, who was himself unseated in a 2006 coup. A government spokesman says the deputy prime minister will meet the head of special investigations on Tuesday to hear the accusations levelled against him.
Thai Protesters Refuse to Leave, Push New Demands [Reuters, 10 May 2010]
Thai Protesters to Rally Until Deputy PM Surrenders [ChannelNewsAsia, 10 May 2010]
Thailand Red-Shirts Set Out New Conditions [BBC News, 10 May 2010]