Red Shirts End Bangkok Siege

Sporting Red Shirts, supporters of exiled leader Thaksin Shinawatra ended their siege of Thailand’s Government House in Bangkok on Tuesday afternoon (local time) in an ostensible victory for security forces that slowly and peacefully led the protesters out of their encampments.

The stand-off between the protesters on one side and soldiers and police on the other had looked different just a few hours earlier with protesters vowing to continue with the agitation till Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva agreed to their demands.

Hours later protests leaders decided to end the protests as farewell music played on loud speakers dotting the area.

Demonstrators started to queue their way out of the area under the watchful eye of security personnel, correspondents present in the Thai capital say many were carrying posters of former Prime Minister Shinawatra.

The leaving trucks carrying protesters were a riot of red as those on board sang, cheered and waved flags.

Relief was writ large on the faces of both the protesters and security personnel as the agitating ‘red shirts’ lifted the siege and called for the soldiers to be sent back home.

Some protesters, however, were unhappy with the development and told correspondents that they were leaving because of the threat of injury from the heavily armed soldiers.

“We are leaving because the military are coming and we are ordinary people without anything to fight with,” said Narumon Warunrungroj – a middle aged housewife.

In a related development the Thai government issued arrest warrants for some 13 protest leaders and exiled  Shinawatra.

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