Thailand's elite-backed “Yellow Shirts” vowed to take action on Sunday if the government fails to deal with red-clad protesters within a week, raising fears of clashes. The “Red Shirts”, who mainly support ex-Premier Thaksin Shinawatra, have occupied the capital for over a month with their anti-government campaign, which led to clashes with security forces last weekend leaving 25 people dead.
Thailand is largely split between the poor and rural Reds and the pro-establishment Yellows, who hit the streets ahead of a 2006 coup that ousted their enemy Thaksin and again to see off his allies in 2008. The Yellows had remained largely silent since the Reds began mass rallies in mid-March demanding immediate elections, but they held a meeting of 3,000 to 5,000 supporters on Sunday to discuss a response to the crisis.
“In seven days we hope that the government will deal with the terrorists from Thaksin immediately, otherwise we will show our voice to protect the country and the royal family,” said a spokesman for the Yellow group formally known as the People's Alliance for Democracy.