Suthep asks top brass to shield protesters

Anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban on Sunday night appealed to military leaders to provide safety for demonstrators after a protester was killed by gunshots at a polling booth in eastern Bangkok.

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‘’I appeal to all three armed forces leaders to come out and protect innocent people who fight (against caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra) with their hands,’’ the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) leader told the crowd at the Pathumwan stage.

“We don’t want them to seize power or stage a coup. We only need their security protection as we have lost trust in the police,’’ he added.

The crowd then started chanting ‘’Military come out, military come out’’ as Mr Suthep made a call after Suthin Tharathin, a leader of the People’s Democratic Force to Overthrow Thaksinism, and 10 others were shot by gunshots emanating from a group of red shirts. Suthin was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

He was the fourth protester to die after the PDRC began its campaign to uproot the Thaksin regime, oust Ms Yingluck and embark on reform before a new election is held.

Suthin and the others were shot as they were leaving a polling station at Wat Sri Iam in the Bang Na area after having forced it to close.

The protest leader urged protesters to continue their peaceful rallies without arms instead of resorting to violence, as tension was escalating after the fatal incident.

“We have to adhere to this principle,’’ he said and urged either Ms Yingluck or police to take full responsibility for the shooting.

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