Turnout of red-shirts protesters less than 50,000: Thai Interior Ministry

08:19, March 15, 2010      

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Members of "red-shirts", supporters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), hold a rally in central Bangkok, capital of Thailand, on March 14, 2010. Thailand's anti-government group red-shirts announced Sunday that the protesters will step up the pressure on the government and move to rally outside the 11th Infantry Regiment where a key security command is located, if the prime minister does not dissolve the House by 9 a.m. Monday. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)

The total turnout of red-shirted protesters for the anti-government mass rally in Bangkok on Sunday was 46,377, according to a Ministry of Interior report quoted by Bangkok Post online, while the red-shirts leader claimed 300,000 protesters turned up.

The interior ministry reported on Sunday evening that the figure came out of accumulative counts at the protest venues in Sanam Luang, Phan Fa Bridge and King Rama V Equestrian Monument at 1:00 p.m. local time.

On the other hand, Natthawut Saikua, a red-shirts core leader, said at a press conference at 5:00 p.m. that as many as 300,000 protesters have joined the protest at the main rally site around Phan Fa bridge on Sunday.

The ongoing rally, organized by the anti-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), have attracted tens of thousands of supporters from across the country since Friday, with Sunday, the "showdown" day, seen as its peak.

According to the ministry's calculation, out of the total, 23, 569 red-shirts were from the Northeast, 11,127 from the North, 4, 190 from the central region, 3,667 from the East, 2,990 from the West and 834 from the South.

The demonstrators entered the capital via 13,385 pick-ups, 3, 385 cars, 36 trucks, 60 buses, 17 e-tan farm trucks, 137 motorcycles, 115 vans and three train journeys, the ministry said.

The red-shirts movement is staging the rally to topple Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's administration, urging the prime minister to dissolve the parliament and call a fresh election.

Earlier they claimed the rally will draw "one million supporters" to the capital city from all over the country.

Source: Xinhua
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