Anti-government protesters gathered yesterday near the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) to demand that caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and CMPO chief Chalerm Yoobamrung take responsibility for the deadly crackdown at Phan Fah Bri
The rally was staged close to the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) building, in the Royal Thai Police Sports Club compound. The NSB centre is being used by the CMPO.
The protest, led by Sakoltee Phattiyakul, Chumphon Junsai, Buddhipongse Punnakanta and Nataphol Teepsuwan, began at about 11.40am yesterday.
The protesters sat down about 50 metres away from the police line and 400 metres from the NSB building. Things were relatively peaceful with only a small war of words breaking out.
Chalerm was in the building but did not come out to meet the protesters.
At that time, caretaker Deputy PM Kittiratt Na-Ranong, who is also Finance Minister, was chairing a meeting with the CMPO on problems related to the rice-pledging scheme.
The protesters dispersed at 3.20pm, but before leaving, Chumphon handed a football to a senior police officer, saying the protesters would love to play a football game with police officers the next time they meet.
The protesters then returned to their respective rally sites, with most of them congregating at Pathumwan intersection, Asoke and Ratchaprasong sites.
The rally leaders said they would go back to demand that Yingluck and Chalerm come out and take responsibility for the Tuesday clash, which ended with five people killed and 69 injured.
Separately, another group of protesters led by Satit Wongnongtaey rallied in the morning at the SC Asset Building on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road for a third day as part of a move to target Shinawatra family businesses.
The group then joined the gathering near the NSB building.
In another development, Pheu Thai Party spokesman Anusorn Iamsa-ard slammed monk Phra Buddha Issara, who led a rally to the SC Park Hotel on Thursday.
The hotel manager ended up having to pay the monk Bt120,000 in compensation for the bookings the monk had made, which had to be cancelled for security reasons.