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Today the confrontation between the protest groups and the government is set to reach new heights as several unpredictable conditions are set to occur simultaneously.
The police have raised concerns that all groups are getting ready to stir up public disorder by escalating their protests. Security preparations have been heightened to handle the protest situation according to the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order.
Today the Senate will hold its first reading of the controversial amnesty bill in an attempt to defuse tension. On Friday the Senate failed to reach quorum after the anti-government group of forty Senators boycotted the meeting forcing it to be postponed until toda.
The ruling on the Thai-Cambodian dispute is also cause for concern.
The Anti Thaksin coalition that comprises of civic groups in seventy seven provinces, the People’s Democratic Force to Overthrow Thaksinism and the Dhamma Army have been escalating their campaigns since Saturday and aim to oust Yingluck Shinawatra.
Scattered rallies in Silom, Asoke, Saphan Khwai and the Ratchadapisek areas will be held by anti amnesty protestors before they march to join protestors at Ratchadamnoen Avenue.
Former core leaders of the yellow-shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy, Sondhi Limthogkul and Chamlong Srimuang will announce their stance over the situation and their plans today.
It is also feared there will be clashes between supporters and opponents of the government, especially in the provinces where scattered demonstrations are organized.
On Sunday the red shirts turned out en masse, to kick off a campaign to counter the anti amnesty protest in Bangkok. Their leaders denounced the anti-government protest saying they were intended to overthrow the Yingluck administration.
A 30-rai area behind the SCG Muangthong United football stadium filled up with around 75,000 red shirt protestors yesterday. The UDD chairwoman Tida Tawornseth told the red shirts that they had gathered because their fight for democracy had yet to be won. “The conservative movement is now pushing for pro-democracy movements like ours back, so we must reinforce our movement to push them back” she said. She went on to say “the situation is now at a stalemate situation where nobody is the winner or the loser. From today this is a signal of a new round of fighting. Democratic power must move forward”
Pheu Thai MP and red shirt co-leader Nattawut Saikuar said in a post on his Facebook account that the Democrat Party was mobilising its supporters to the Ratchadamnoen Avenue protest for the planned “people’s today. According to him the protestors would move to lay siege to Government house today. He called on the Democrat Party to end its street protest and take the matter to parliament instead. Mr Suthep last ngiht denied Mr Nattawut’s allegation.
“We are not fools like the red shirts” he said and added that when the red shirts encircled the Government House in 2010 the then Democrat government was able to hold its cabinet meeting elsewhere. That shows that blocking Government House is a waste of time.
People from the south, a Democratic stronghold, have been mobilizing to join the Ratchadamnoen protests today. In Surat Thani at least 3,2000 people from 19 districts left for Bangkok yesterday.
Capo’s spokesman Pol Maj Gen Piya Uthayo said violence is anticipated to break out in several areas. National police chief Adul Saengsingkaew has ordered a security step-up to prevent incidents.