Bangkok, the 12th of April 2010 [TNA]:The motorised red-clad procession of cars, pickups, taxis and motorcycles pushed off from the iconic Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Avenue and continued to key streets through the capital. Police have been deployed to key locations to facilitate the Red Shirt procession and motorists.
Jatuporn Prompan, key leader of the ‘Red Shirt’ United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) said the group has shut the door for negotiations with the government, even though the coalition parties resolved to reduce the timeframe to dissolve the House to six months from nine months as earlier proposed by the government. The Red Shirt leaders renewed their call for Mr Abhisit to step down and leave the country, saying there is no point in further negotiations with the government.
For nearly a month, since March 14, the protesters have encamped at Phan Fa Bridge on Rajdamnoen Avenue. The protesters later occupied the prime business and high-end shopping area at Ratchaprasong intersection for 10 consecutive days, while keeping up their protest at the main protest site at Phan Fa Bridge. After two rounds of talks between the government and the Red Shirt leaders failed, tensions flared up when the security force on Saturday tried to clear the area around Phan Fa. Confrontation between protesters and security forces led to fierce clashes at Bangkok’s Khok Wua Intersection.
The Erawan Emergency Centre reported 21 dead and 863 injured on Monday. Both sides blamed the other for firing live ammunition and using military weaponry during the clashes. Meanwhile, Police General hospital has conducted autopsies on 11 bodies including the Japanese cameraman who worked for Reuters news agency. Hospital Director Pol Lt-Gen Jongjate Aojanepong said the processes were witnessed by a joint committee at the Institute of Forensic Medicine. The
bodies will be returned to their families on Monday afternoon. (TNA)