Thai anti-government protesters march towards ASEAN venue

April 10th, 2009 - 1:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Abhisit Vejjajiva Pattaya (Thailand), April 10 (Xinhua) About 100 Thai anti-government protesters broke through an army cordon here Friday and marched to the Royal Cliff Beach Resort, the venue of the 14th ASEAN Summit.
Thousands of red-shirted protesters blocked all roads leading to the Royal Cliff Beach Resort.

The crowd briefly clashed with police before some forced their way through a group of security personnel deployed about 500 metres from the luxury hotel.

The protesters shouted slogans against Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, demanding that he step down and dissolve the house.

“Abhisit get out! If this government does not accept our demands we will not go home,” shouted the protesters.

Power and Internet connection in the ASEAN Summits’ press centre was cut off for 20 minutes.

Security was beefed up as the red shirts held rallies and blocked access to the venue of the summit meeting.

So far it was not clear whether the summit will be held as scheduled or postponed due to the political unrest.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva turned down the protester’s demands for his resignation in a national TV address Thursday evening, five hours after the protesters’ ultimatum expired.

The latest round of anti-government protests in Bangkok has entered the 16th day. Since March 27 all the entrances to the Government House have been blocked by the red-shirts, or the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD). They have prevented Abhisit and his cabinet ministers from entering their offices to work.

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