Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Tuesday “confirmed” that there was “no need to invoke [an] emergency decree” to meet the protests in Bangkok against his continuance in office.

This was officially announced, even as a number of protesters donated their blood as an act of “sacrifice” in what they saw as an “innovative” way of carrying forward their protest.

But the blood-donation drive, in which the protesters avidly participated under the intense glare of television cameras, was for no medical cause. Late in the evening, the protest leaders splashed a portion of the collected blood at the gates of the Government House in Bangkok.

The stated aim of this symbolic protest was to let the authorities know how deep the opposition to Mr. Abhisit's rule was.

There was no immediate confirmation or comment by the Thai authorities about this symbolic blood-splash.

Third day

Tuesday marked the third straight day of protest by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), an umbrella organisation encouraged by the fugitive Thai leader, Thaksin Shinawatra, from his bases in self-exile. Mr. Thaksin was overthrown in a bloodless military coup in September 2006.

Mr. Abhisit, who on Monday rebuffed the UDD over its demand that he step down and order snap elections, has invoked a 2008 Internal Security Act to maintain order in the face of these protests.

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