PM's Office 'will reopen Wednesday'

Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will be able to return to work at Government House on Wednesday, says Chalerm Yubamrung, director of the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO).

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Ms Yingluck has no appointments this weekend and is resting in her residence in Soi Yothin Pattana 3 amid tight security, reports said.

Officials said Ms Yingluck was closely following the anti-government rallies and had asked for hourly reports from security units.

Mr Chalerm said he had directed Metropolitan Police commander Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit Thoopkrachang to inspect the Government House compound to ensure it was clear of bombs and to reopen the premier's office by Wednesday.

He also reiterated that the CMPO would not use violent means to take back state offices occupied by protesters from the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) and other anti-government groups.

Mr Chalerm, also the caretaker labour minister, said that as far as he was concerned, protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban could continue rallying all year until he and his financiers have no money left.

It was clear, he said, that Bangkok residents had stopped supporting Mr Suthep as the number of PDRC protesters had dropped to only 8,200 on Friday.

The PDRC has held a handful of key sites in the capital for nearly five weeks as part of its "Bangkok Shutdown" campaign. At their peak, PDRC rallies were drawing hundreds of thousands of people.

"The CMPO will refrain from using force against PDRC protesters but this does not mean that we will not arrest Mr Suthep, wanted under an arrest warrant on a charge of treason," Mr Chalerm said on Saturday.

A plan to take back the Government Complex on Chaeng Watthana Road was suspended on Saturday after protest leader Luang Pu Buddha Issara agreed to talk with police on Sunday.

Mr Chalerm said police would negotiate with the monk to take back as many as state offices as possible.

There would be no use of force in taking back the Government Complex, as the aim was to allow civil servants to work and provide services for people, and to avoid any possible casualties, he affirmed.

Police were deployed at the mouth of Soi Yothin Pattana 3 and near the caretaker premier's home to maintain order.

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