Thailand: Red Shirts take protests to provinces; blocks police trucks form entering capital

Members of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), a.k.a the Red Shirts, started fresh protests in the provinces of Pathum ThaniUdon Thani,Phayao and Ubon Ratchathani over the weekend, blocking police vehicles from entering Bangkok.

The inbound lanes of Phaholyothin Road in Pathum Thani’sKhlong Luang district were completely paralysed as protesters stopped 35 police vans, carrying 500 officers, and 15 prisoner transport vehicles – believed to be on its way for the planned crackdown on Red Shirt protests in the capital. Similar blockades were also reported in other provinces.

Reacting to the UDD’s latest actions, the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), a.k.a. the “Yellow Shirts”, released a statement on Monday, urging the government to declare a state of emergency in the provinces affected by the Red Shirt-protests. They have also called for the military to impose martial law “to end unlawful protests and acts of terrorism”.

Meanwhile, three policemen and eight civilians were injured late on Sunday when unidentified assailants on motorcycle hurled a grenade at the residence of former Prime Minister Banharn Silpa-Archa in Bangkok’sBangplad district. As Banharn’s party is a member of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s coalition government, the attack is deemed politically motivated.