Protestors prepare for Bangkok shutdown Monday

Bangkok, Jan 12: Anti-government protestors in Thailand began blocking traffic and setting up stages Sunday to occupy key Bangkok locations, intending to shutdown the capital Monday and force an end to the political deadlock gripping the country.

The People’s Democratic Reform Committee protestors began blocking traffic and setting up stages at Pathumwan intersection and Chaeng Wattana road late Sunday, almost a day before the planned Bangkok shutdown protest rally was to be launched, reported Bangkok Post.

The protestors, who are demanding that no elections be held until major political reforms be implemented, started the Bangkok shutdown at Chaeng Wattana road, where the government complex is situated at about 4 p.m. Both inbound and outbound lanes of the road were completely closed for traffic, after they blocked the roads with sandbags and barriers within two hours.

Since November, protestors have been taking to the streets and occupying government offices, calling for an end to the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

They accuse Yingluck of being a puppet of her brother, the ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was overthrown in a 2006 military coup.

Two separate groups of protestors later blocked traffic at Pathumwan and Lat Phrao five-way intersection, which will be used as main rally venues. Other venues are Lumpini, Ratchaprasong, Asok and Victory Monument.

Yingluck dissolved parliament Dec 9 in response to the crisis, calling new elections to be held Feb 2. But her move failed to pacify protestors, with the opposition party closely aligned with the protest movement, announcing a boycott of the elections.

Suthep Thaugsuban, a former deputy prime minister and Democrat Party’s member of parliament resigned in November to spearhead the protests.

IANS