Thailand: Protesters force Department of Special Investigations’ evacuation
Thai protesters have forced the evacuation of the government’s top crime-fighting agency, on the fourth day of street demonstrations in Bangkok.
The protesters, who want Yingluck Shinawatra’s government to step down, marched to a complex of government offices outside the city.
The anti-government protest leader said they wanted to shut down government ministries in a bid to cause disruption.
They accuse the government of being controlled by the prime minister’s brother, Thaksin Shinawatra.
The protests are being led by former opposition Democrat Party lawmaker Suthep Thaugsuban, for whom police have issued an arrest warrant.
They began on Sunday and so far have targeted the finance, foreign and interior ministries, among others.
“Let the people go to every ministry that remains to make civil servants stop serving the Thaksin regime,” the Associated Press news agency quoted Suthep Thaugsuban as saying.
“Once you take over, civil servants can no longer serve the Thaksin regime. Brothers and sisters, go seize the city hall.”
Despite the arrest warrant, police made no attempt to detain him as he led protesters to government offices.
On Wednesday afternoon, hundreds of protesters surrounded the Department of Special Investigations (DSI), which is Thailand’s equivalent of the FBI.
The DSI is a particular target for the demonstrators – they accuse its chief of conducting partisan investigations against opponents of the government.
The DSI chief ordered his staff to leave as protesters surrounded the building, Reuters news agency said.
PM Yingluck Shinawatra – who on Monday invoked special powers allowing officials to impose curfews – said that the government would not use force against protesters.
“This is not the <<Thaksin regime>>, this is a democratically elected government,” Yingluck Shinawatra told media outside parliament.
[youtube vsbZKV262X4 650]