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Thai protesters vow to topple PM Yingluck

Updated: 2013-11-28 07:23
By Agencies in Bangkok ( China Daily)

Flag-waving protesters vowing to topple Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra took to the streets of Bangkok for a fourth straight day on Wednesday, declaring they would take over "every ministry" of the government.

The brash threat is the boldest challenge yet to Yingluck's embattled administration, and it has raised fears of fresh political violence in the divided Southeast Asian nation. But in a city of 10 million people, the demonstrators appeared to number only in the tens of thousands.

"Whether we succeed or not is not the most important", said Taweesak Maham, a 55-year-old Bangkok resident. "What's important is that the people in the country came out this time to be understood, to symbolically show what the people want."

On Wednesday, demonstrators gathered in front of the ministries of labor, energy, health and commerce in Bangkok and, according to a senior Interior Ministry official, local government offices in 19 provinces.

Yingluck has repeatedly said she wants to avert violence and offered to negotiate an end to the crisis. So far, security forces have not even fired tear gas to prevent protesters from forcing the closure of multiple government offices.

Late on Tuesday, police issued an arrest warrant for Suthep Thaugsuban, a former deputy premier leading the protest movement. He camped out overnight at the Finance Ministry, which has been converted into an ad hoc protest headquarters since crowds stormed it on Monday, closing it down.

There appeared to be no attempt to detain Suthep, however, as he led some 6,000 supporters out of the Finance Ministry early on Wednesday. The crowd eventually grew to 10,000 people, while thousands more marched from another base at the city's Democracy Monument and other smaller groups gathered elsewhere, waving Thai flags and blowing whistles.

AP-Reuters

 Thai protesters vow to topple PM Yingluck

An anti-government protester holds a Thai flag and roses as riot policemen stand guard at the Energy Ministry in Bangkok on Wednesday. Demonstrators marched toward a government office complex as part of efforts to cripple the government and oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Chaiwat Subprasom / Reuters

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