PM Abhisit Gives Reds Ultimatum to Disperse

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva issued an ultimatum to the red shirts to leave the Rajprasong protest site by today after their failure to honour their commitment to end the protest (...) The government would step up measures to force them to leave the areas and such measures might also affect people who live and do business there, he said. "If they have sincerely accepted the road map for national reconciliation as announced earlier, the protesters should go home by May 12 and we can discuss other matters in detail later," Abhisit told reporters.

"PM to red shirts: Leave today", The Nation, May 12, 2010

A source at the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation said the new school term was another reason to clear the area. Most schools are due to resume on Monday.

The source said if UDD leaders do not end their protest today, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban would consult army chief Anupong Paojinda about measures to end the protest. However, the source said the CRES yesterday did not discuss mobilising security forces against the red shirts.

The new army plans include cutting off water and electricity supplies to the Ratchaprasong area to put more pressure on the red shirts to go home. Security forces would surround the rally site and prevent more red shirt supporters from taking part.

"Irked PM says 'rally ends today'", Bangkok Post, May 12, 2010

This decision, the first ultimatum that was directly issued by Abhisit himself, comes after the red shirt leaders have again insisted that deputy prime minister Suthep to report himself to the Police's Crime Suppression Division and not the Department of Special Investigation (same claim as Monday).

The red shirts have driven themselves into a dead-end after stubbornly leaving everybody waiting, hardly agreeing themselves on what to do with the PM's roadmap offer (and also showing an internal conflict among the leaders) and in the end to break down because Suthep has to report himself to one law enforcement agency and not the other one...!

We have to wait for today's events if this new battle of attrition will take long for the protesters to leave and the leaders to give in. A violent crackdown is unlikely at this moment, but don't tell that to the hardliners and stranger things have already happened.

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