BANGKOK: In a bid to retake the government headquarters and other areas occupied for weeks by anti-government protesters in Thailand, the riot police on Friday began an operation in Bangkok.
The Thailand’s National Security Council chief Paradorn Pattanatabut said that the authorities planned to reclaim several sites including the government house and the interior ministry on Friday.
“We will retake wherever we can and arrest protest leaders,” Pattanatabut said, adding, “It’s not a crackdown on the protests — it’s enforcement of the law over the protest sites.”
The security forces had already started clearing a rally site near Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s offices, which was closed for about two months due to the street protests in the city.
The development came as the anti-government movement leaders had called for a big two-day protest starting on Friday. The demonstrators want Yingluck Shinawatra to resign, so that an unelected people’s council could enact reforms to contain corruption and alleged vote-buying before a new vote is held.