Rally to continue until PM dissolves House: red shirts

10:33, April 04, 2010      

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The "red shirts" announced Saturday evening they will continue their mass protest at the center of Bangkok until the prime minister dissolves the lower House of parliament.

The announcement at 6:00 p.m. after the "red-shirts" leaders' latest meeting apparently overthrew their previous plan of rallying for only four days, starting Saturday.

"We want the House to be dissolved immediately," the co-leader of the anti-government Veera Musikapong told reporters and his red- clad supporters around the stage at the intersection, around which is a prosperous business zone of Bangkok.

The House dissolution is the only solution to the country's political conflict, Veera said.

The latest demand of immediate House dissolution was made after the "red-shirts" required Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva dissolve the House within 15 days.

The anti-government protesters arrived at the Rathchaprasong area, a primary business zone of Bangkok, by11.00 a.m. from their main rally sitePhanFahBridge.All the major shopping malls nearby the intersection have temporarily closed due to the ongoing rally.

Businesses nearby the rally site stand to lose 200 million or 300 million baht (6.18 million or 9.27 millionU.S.dollars ) in revenues for one day, said Thanawat Polwichai, director of the Economic andBusinessBroadcastingCenterat theUniversityofThai Chamber of Commerce.

"However, if the rally in the business area is prolonged to the Songkran festival (in mid-April), it could result in losses of 500 billion to 10 billion baht," he said.

Tens of thousands of red-shirted people, many of them supporters of the ousted former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra, have stormed into Bangkok since March 12, demanding the premier to dissolve the lower House of parliament paving the way for a new general election.

The traffic situation is largely affected by the red shirted rally.



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