Protesters carry blood to Thai PM Abhisit's house

Protesters carry blood to Thai PM Abhisit's house

Anti-government demonstrators in Thailand are approaching the home of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejajjiva to continue their symbolic blood protest, BBC reported.

On the fourth day of a mass rally, the "red shirts" planned to throw blood donated by thousands of protesters at the home, to dramatise their demands.

They say Mr Abhisit's government is illegitimate and should be dissolved.

Neither Mr Abhisit nor any of his family are at their home in a well-to-do suburb, and security is tight.

Ten more companies of police and soldiers have been deployed to reinforce six companies of security officials at the house, The Nation newspaper reported.

It said the Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban had invoked the Internal Security Act to ban entry to Mr Abhisit's street, where a few thousand protesters had already gathered.

Mr Abhisit has been staying at the headquarters of the 11th Infantry Battalion in the north of Bangkok since the protests began.

More splashing

The red shirts could be seen approaching the Sukhumvit area where Mr Abhisit's home is - their actions continue to be peaceful, loud and cheerful.

The BBC's South East Asia correspondent Rachel Harvey says the numbers are dwindling but the passion is undiminished, the demands as loud as ever.

A senior police officer said he estimated numbers had dropped by 100,000 to 90,000 people by Tuesday evening.

Reporters asked a protest leader, Veera Musikapong, what their next move would be, and he replied, "I want to know that myself," the Associated Press reported.

He said the group maps strategy on a day-by-day basis.

The latest plan announced by protest leaders is a copy of what they did on Tuesday afternoon when they poured human blood at the gates of Government House and, later, the headquarters of the Democrat Party.

Earlier on Tuesday, many thousands of protesters had lined up to donate their blood.

"The blood of the common people is mixing together to fight for democracy," said Natthawut Saikua, a red shirt leader.

Tens of thousands of security forces remain on standby and army leaders say they plan to be flexible and gentle with the demonstrators as their protests continue.

Government cleaners quickly went into action to mop up the blood on Tuesday, amid fears of infection and some criticism that the blood spilling was wasting a resource which could have been used to help the sick.

On Monday, Mr Abhisit had rejected a demand from protesters to quit and call elections.

The stand-off is the latest in a deep political schism in the country linked to the 2006 military coup which deposed former leader Thaksin Shinawatra.

A cabinet meeting scheduled for Tuesday was cancelled, and a parliamentary hearing stopped for lack of a quorum.

Both sides appeared to be making every effort to avoid confrontation.

The protest, led by red-shirted supporters of Mr Thaksin has been one of the largest in recent years.

The protesters say the present government was installed illegally after Mr Thaksin was ousted in a military coup in 2006, and two subsequent allied governments were deposed by court action.

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