Protesters urge govt workers to close down state agencies

national January 14, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Highlights of the second day of the "shutdown campaign" and its impact on the capital and provinces across the country were anti-government protesters' campaign for civil disobedience:

- About 1,000 protesters marched to the Office of the National Economic Social and Development Board, as they claimed that the PM’s secretary-general Suranand Vejjajiva would use the place to work. They blew whistles and urged officials there to stop work for five days. About 100 officials walked out of their office as protesters cheered and blew whistles. Having found no one left in the NESDB office, they close the gate with a big lock. Deputy Secretary-General Thanin Pa-Em led all out of the compound, saying Secretary-General Arkhorn Termpittayapaisith advised him so. 
- PDRC protesters lay siege to the Customs Department from morning till 6pm, urging them to stop work and join their campaign to oust the PM.
- Many educational institutes have suspended classes. They include Srinakharinwirot University, Pathumwan Institute of Technology, Rajamangala University of Technology’s two campuses, Bangkok University’s Rangsit campus, Chulalongkorn and Thammasat universities, plus Kasetsart’s Bang Khen campus, (Rajamangala University of Technology Krungthep, Rajabhat University’s Suan Dusit and Suan Sunandha, and St John University. Ramkhamhaeng University has postponed exams till Friday.
- Protesters marched to the Commerce Ministry in Sanambinnam Road but left after they were told it was closed for three days.
- Protesters marched to the Department of Export Promotion after learning the permanent secretary for the PM’s Office would use this place as his office. However, after learning that the protesters were marching there, the high-ranking official did not turn up.
- Protesters continue to block seven intersections in Bangkok: Pathumwan, Ratchaprasong, Asoke, Sala Daeng, Victory Monument, Lat Phrao, the the Government Complex on Chaeng Wattana Road. 
- As many as 8,000 PDRC protesters rallied in nine southern provinces, according to CAPO spokesman Pol Maj Gen Piya Uthayo. He said another 50,000 –supporters of the government – had rallied in 32 provinces across the country in support of the government holding an election.