Bangkok : A Thai court on Tuesday approved an arrest warrant for a top anti-government leader as thousands of demonstrators besieged government buildings demanding beleaguered Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s resignation.
“We sought an arrest warrant for Suthep (Thaugsuban) and the Criminal Court just approved it,” said Colonel Sunthorn Kongklam of Bang Sue police station in the capital. “I ask him to surrender, otherwise police can arrest him on sight.” Thousands of protesters continued their siege of government buildings which began on Monday as the Parliament discussed a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister. Demonstrators surrounded the interior, agriculture, transport, and sports and tourism ministries, ordering officials inside to leave, a day after they broke into the finance and foreign ministries and cut off electric and water supply.
Suthep, a former deputy Prime Minister and senior leader from the opposition Democrat party, vowed to “seize all ministries” after storming the finance ministry. The protests raised fears of fresh street violence since 2010 as thousands of demonstrators rallied against Prime Minister Yingluck and her brother Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 coup.
The demonstrations, sparked by an amnesty bill that could have allowed the return of Thaksin from self-imposed exile, escalated troubles for Yingluck since she took office in 2011 with Thaksin support from the “Red Shirts”, whose 2010 protests were crushed by the then Democrat-led government.