Safe exit offer in Thailand

Thailand's security forces on Sunday promised a safe passage, until 3 p.m. on Monday, for unarmed protesters to leave their encircled campsite in Bangkok's commercial district.

A team of civilian and security officials as also civil-society activists would enter the camp and urge the demonstrators, especially women, children and the elderly, to accept this offer. They might not also be charged with any offence, said officials.

The announcement, seen as an ultimatum to the protesting United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) to disperse, was punctuated by a parallel move to “assess the need for curfew” in certain areas of Bangkok at a suitable time.

These uinitiatives were publicised, in televised comments by officials, during a pause in the clashes that began on Thursday between the UDD activists, especially those variously armed, and the security forces outside the encircled campsite. Unofficial estimates placed the number of those killed in the last few days at over 25.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declared that the army and police would not back down from the operations to end the occupation of the commercial hub that began on April 3. And, even as he faced charges of a crackdown, more UDD protesters were reported to be gathering in several parts of Bangkok.

The UDD's demand is that Mr. Abhisit must dissolve the House of Representatives and order a general election. He is accused of coming to power without a direct popular mandate. And, his recent offer to hold elections on November 14, about a year ahead of schedule, has been rejected by the UDD.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 9:21:08 PM |

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