Thai’s PM attacked

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declared a state of emergency in Bangkok and surrounding provinces on Sunday in a bid to quell anti-government protests that forced the cancellation of a major Asian summit on Saturday.

Abhisit, in a TV address, said the nation was “in danger” because of unreasonable, self-serving people. The Prime Minister, who had narrowly escaped being beaten up himself by the protesters, warned that a line had been crossed and a very firm response was required.

“The next three or four days will be crucial to returning to peace,” he added.

Troops were seen securing strategic road junctions in the city and the capital’s glitzy big department stores closed early.

A protest leader, Jatuporn Promphan, a leader of the so-called Red Shirt Protesters loyal for fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinwatra, had called for a popular uprising on Sunday to overthrow what he described as an illegitimate government.

Thaksin himself, in a telephone address from an undisclosed foreign country, again incited a large body of protesters in the early evening in central Bangkok saying this was a “golden oppurtunity for the people to grab real democracy”.

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