PM asks army for help as protesters vow to close down Bangkok Jan 13: Thailand’s caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has asked the military for help as anti-government protesters vowed to “close down” Bangkok starting January 13, say Thai media reports.
In a Wednesday night speech to supporters at Democracy Monument, anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban said the planned mass rally to shut down Bangkok will begin at 9am on January 13, and that the siege of the city may last five days or for a month and will be around the clock until the caretaker government of Yingluck Shinawatra resigns to pave the way for political reforms, said the reports.
He said 20 protest stages will be set up across Bangkok at major junctions and intersections.
The protest leader threatened to cut the electricity and tap water to homes of government ministers and at all government office buildings, and vowed victory over the government would be achieved by the end of January.
Mr. Suthep also said the anti-government protesters, called the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), may gather outside the homes of key government officials, essentially keeping them captive and thereby limiting their activities, according to The Nation news agency.
In response, Prime Minister Yingluck has asked the military to help police enforce law and order if Mr. Suthep carries out his threat to close down Bangkok, said reports.
According to a Defence Ministry source, Ms. Yingluck is worried about the PDRC’s threat and wants the military to intervene, according to the Bangkok Post.
The source quoted the prime minister as telling military leaders at a Wednesday meeting, “It seems the country is in a state of lawlessness. People can do what they want”.
Ms. Yingluck also asked Army Chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha to hold talks with Mr. Suthep, or to broker another meeting between her and the protest leader.
However, the source said the army chief appeared uneasy about the prospects of using soldiers to help police, as the military was heavily criticised over its role in the 2010 violence during the red-shirt protests, said reports.