Many state offices shut down by protests in the South
January 21, 2014 00:00
By The Nation
Protesters continue to lay siege to provincial halls, plus district offices and health offices in provinces throughout the South.
They have called for state officials to stop work after People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) chief Suthep Thaugsuban ordered that the anti-government campaign be stepped up.
Nakhon Si Thammarat: No officials were at work at the provincial hall after the PDRC rallied and called for state workers to cease working.
Officials at every state agency threw their support behind the campaign by closing operations. Of 23 district offices, 15 shut down by noon and the rest were due to close afternoon yesterday.
Krabi: Protesters put up a sign with a message “Reform first then go to the polls”, at the entrance of the Krabi Provincial Hall. They called on officials to demonstrate civil disobedience by not working, although no official turned up for work yesterday at the hall.
Protesters set up tents and loud speakers in front of the official hall as more people joined the protest. More than 60 security guards set up metal barricades to prevent the protesters getting in. Offices for health and transport closed down operations in many districts.
Pattani: Military officials were deployed to fend off anti-government protests at the provincial hall. Officials turned up for work as normal.
Satun: People who came to the provincial hall for services relented after PDRC protesters blew whistles and told them and local officials to leave.
Ranong: Protesters rallied in five districts of the province and put up stickers that said “Closed till Yingluck resigns” at the front of state offices, except hospitals, schools, courts, and the police station.
Surat Thani: A war of words and a scuffle erupted at the provincial hall after Saravudh Issarangura na Ayuthaya, a legal officer at the Customs Office, opposed the protest and calls for officials to stop work – and spat on the protesters.
Protesters managed to close many offices in the South. All schools under the jurisdiction of the Education Ministry have suspended classes for the first three days of this week.
Phang Nga: Protesters continued to lay siege to the provincial hall, which has been closed since January 13. They have also rallied through the streets, calling for reform before an election and for Yingluck to resign.
Chumphon: Protesters laid siege to all eight districts and blocked officials from going inside their offices. The water and electricity offices, all schools in every district also suspended classes till the government quits.
Trang: Provincial officials have followed Suthep’s “order” and closed all state offices. Some turned up at work but only put away documents.
But one protest leader, Preedipramot Lertwarapat, denied the PDRC was closing schools. He said some schools were closed because they were ordered to do that by the school management.
Ubon Ratchathani: Major Sawat Kukaew led 100 protesters from 20 northern provinces to campaign for support of the February 2 election. He said he would lead protesters to rally in Yasothon today and Amnat Charoen tomorrow.