Thailand protest leader declares end of Bangkok Shutdown: Suthep Thaugsuban, protest leader of the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) group, on Friday declared an end to the Bangkok Shutdown campaign after Sunday, according to reports.
The announcement made from a rally stage came as a surprising and abrupt end to the six-week attempt to force the caretaker government of prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra to resign.
But Mr Suthep made it clear that the fight to oust the government was far from over, as the protesters will dismantle all the current rally stages across the capital, clear blocked roads, and move all protest activities to one location at Lumpini Park in the heart of Bangkok, said a Bangkok Post report.
Of the original seven sites, only four protest stages remain – located at Silom Road, Pathumwan (MBK), Ratchaprasong (CentralWorld), and Asoke.
“The PDRC would like to return traffic lanes to our Bangkok brothers and sisters,” Mr Suthep told supporters at the Pathumwan intersection site Friday evening.
“My sincere apologies to all Bangkokians for the inconvenience. It’s just something we had to do.”
He said no one forced the PDRC to make the move, not even the “incompetent” caretaker government of Ms Yingluck and her deputy Chalerm Yubamrung.
“We decided to stop the ‘Bangkok Shutdown’ but we’ll continue to close down government offices and businesses of the Shinawatra family as usual and our fight will be more intense,” declared Mr Suthep.
He also said the protesters would help clean up the sites at Silom, Pathumwan, Ratchaprasong, and Asoke before moving to Lumpini Park on Monday.
He said the PDRC decided to move to Lumpini because many buildings and conference halls were located nearby where the group could hold meetings to exchange views from various sides.
In addition, the park would be “more comfortable” for protesters who travelled to Bangkok from the provinces and needed a place to camp overnight, said Mr Suthep.
“We will raise the level of our rallies after we return the roads to Bangkok people,” he said. “I personally hope the game will be over by March.
“I hope that after we return the roads to you, Bangkok people will rethink how important what we are doing is for the country and join us.”