PDRC shuts Lumpini rally site, heads for final battle

BANGKOK - The People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) will today end its rally at Lumpini Park and move all rally sites to Makkhawan Rangsan Bridge.

PDRC secretary general Suthep Thaugsuban last night made the final speech on the stage at the park.

Suthep yesterday made a speech at the Chamai Maruchet rally site of the Students and People Network for Thailand's Reform and advised the demonstrators that he would lead the march to Makkhawan Rangsan Bridge near Government House today.

After reaching the new rally site, he said he would lead the demonstrators to Parliament to observe a special meeting of the Senate to see if the new Senate Speaker would nominate a non-partisan prime minister for His Majesty's endorsement.

Suthep said he would set up his new office inside the Santi Maitree Building in the Government House compound.

He would make future statements from his new office and would hold meetings with any group that came to meet him. Protesters would not be allowed inside the compound, only some PDRC staff involved.

Suthep said the latest round of rallies would be the final battle. If the PDRC won by pushing for real reforms, he would return to live in Surat Thani but if he loses, people could visit him in jail.

Meanwhile, Phra Buddha Issara, the monk who is leading the PDRC rally outside Government Complex on Chaeng Wattana Road, cancelled all activities yesterday.

He rested behind the rally stage after he was injured by a water canon and teargas during a clash with police at the Royal Thai Police Club on Friday.

The Chaeng Wattana rally stage had only music shows yesterday. The PDRC protesters, who had occupied the country's five main television stations, returned to their rally sites yesterday.

Chumphon Junsai and Chitpas Kridakorn, who led the PDRC protest at MCOT (Channel 9) and returned to Lumpini Park, said MCOT had cooperated with protesters.

Buddhipongse Punnakanta, who led protesters at Channel 7 and returned to Lumpini Park, will protest at Makkhawan Rangsan Bridge on Rajdamnoen Avenue today.

Nathapol Teepsuwan, who led protesters at Channel 3 on Rama IV Road, said the demonstrations at the TV stations were not a threat to the media and the protesters had not intruded into restricted areas.