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Gen Adul Saengsingkaew, the National Police Chief has instructed a team to arrest Suthep Thaugsuban, the People’s Democratic Reform Committee Secretary General.
Surapong Tovichakchaikul, the Deputy Prime Minister and head of the Centre for Administration of Peace and Order called a meeting of the top officials from concerned agencies that took place at the Defense Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Office, Adul joined the meeting via videoconferencing. During the meeing Adul was asked for a progress report in relation to Suthep’s whereabouts as well as an update on the situation in Bangkok. Adul said that around 40 guards are protecting Suthep and he would issue a report in a closed-door meeting without media presence.
Many of the protestors in Bangkok returned home after numbers peaked at 23,000 on Wednesday, it is thought around 7,000 remain in the country’s capital today. Today Suthep will be leading the crowd from the Lumpini Park Site through Silom Road, Charoenkrung, Sii Phraya, Samyan, Chulalongkorn U onto the Pathumwan intersection. The 7.8 km walk is expected to take around 8 hours, the group plan to be back at Lumpini Park at around 8pm.
It has been reported that the PDRC are spending around ten million baht a day on the Bangkok Shutdown campaign, and with no end in sight, some leaders have had to sell their properties, Suthep has already sold some of his land in the south according to the PDRC.
When the Department of Special Investigation ordered that the 18 protest leaders’ bank accounts be frozen in December after they were charged with insurrection, Suthep managed to raise a large sum of money in donations in marches in downtown Bangkok.
According to PDRC spokesman Akanat, Suthep raised about Bt12 million in the two-day march down Silom Road on December 19 and 20. Plus, he said, the sale of PDRC souvenirs such as T-shirts, calendars and King Naresuan coins were earning them several million baht daily, which helped sustain the rally.
“We have tried to trim the expenditure at rally sites and are not using ‘full options’ at the Pathumwan intersection. We are also getting support from partners such as Chulalongkorn University [at the Pathumwan intersection rally site] as well as businesses at the Silom and Asoke rally sites,” Akanat said.