12/01/2008, 00.00
THAILAND
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Anti-government protesters end siege at government HQ, airport still blocked

Police has not taken action so far. Counter-demonstrations by Wongsawat supporters raise concern. Tomorrow the Constitutional Court will vet election fraud claims.
Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The siege of the Thai government headquarters is ending after three months, Bangkok International Airport remains however is still. Earlier this morning it was reported that protesters would end their blockade there as well.

A spokesperson for the Popular Alliance for Democracy said that the siege around the government compound was being lifted in order to strengthen the airport blockade.

Last Friday anti-government protest leaders said Bangkok’s two airports would be closed indefinitely and that protesters would “fight to death” if police tried to clear the area.

Because of the situation tens of thousands of foreign tourists have been stranded since anti-government groups took over the two airports.

The decision to let the airports reopen seems to be the result of negotiations with police. But the demonstration organised by supporters of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat’s government could have played a role.

If PAD demonstrators wore yellow as the symbol of their protest and loyalty to the king, government supporters wore read.

The presence in the streets of supporters from opposing camps had raised fears about possible incidents.

There was also concern that government supporters could camp outside the Constitutional Court which tomorrow must start vetting claims about election fraud that could lead to disbandment of the governing party.

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