BANGKOK, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Foreign embassies, particularly those located near the rally sites in Bangkok, expressed concern at the political situation ahead of the mass rally and the planned "shutdown" on Jan. 13, Thailand Foreign Ministry's permanent secretary Sihasak Phuangketkaew said here on Wednesday.
Sihasak was speaking after briefing foreign diplomats about the situation concerning the anti-government protesters who planned to organize a mass demonstration next Monday to shutdown the city.
He quoted some foreign diplomats as expressing concern at reports that the protesters will close down many intersections and the expectations that their vehicles would be able to enter and leave the embassies without trouble.
The French Ambassador to Thailand has expressed particular concern as its temporary embassy is located in the compound of CAT Telecom Plc on Charoen Krung Road, which had seen its electricity cut during earlier protests.
The German ambassador to Thailand expressed concern at rumors that the protesters will seize the airports.
Some 20 foreign embassies near the rally sites could be affected by the demonstrations, Sihasak said, adding he ensured them that Thailand government would solve the problems in a peaceful way and in line with democratic principles.
Commenting on next week's "shutdown" of the capital, Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Tuesday that the government would in principle be held responsible for any violence that might break out during the anti-government demonstrations.
Prayuth earlier declined to rule out the possibility of another coup occurring under the current situation, while he denied on Tuesday that soldiers and armaments sent to Bangkok this week were aimed at staging a putsch.
He said the troop movements were an annual practice and had nothing to do with a coup. "The public should not be afraid of things that have not yet occurred. If you can not see it, do not fear it," he said.
The army chief stressed the military was duty-bound to take care of people from all groups, and he reiterated that he did not support the use of violence, asking those involved in the conflict to work out a solution.
Besides, caretaker Prime Minister and Defense Minister Yingluck Shinawatra Tuesday dismissed rumors that she had asked the military to stage a coup following the planned "shutdown."
Thai people worried about "shutdown": poll
BANGKOK, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Most people in Bangkok were concerned there could be violence if the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) really shuts down the capital next Monday, Bangkok Poll reported here on Tuesday.
The pollsters at the Bangkok University based their finding on interviews with 1,021 people in Bangkok aged 18 and up between Jan. 3 and Jan. 6. According to the poll, 60.4 percent of respondents said they were worried the "shutdown" movement could lead to violence. Full story
No blackout on Jan. 13: Thai minister
BANGKOK, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- There will be no power blackout, oil or gas shortage on Jan. 13, the day of the planned Bangkok shutdown by the People's Democratic Reform Committee, caretaker Energy Minister Pongsak Raktapongpaisarn said here on Tuesday.
Pongsak said this before attending the meeting of the caretaker cabinet at the Army Club, which is to be chaired by caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Full story
Thai protesters stage warm-up rally for Bangkok shutdown
BANGKOK, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's anti-government protesters on Sunday morning began a warm-up rally to mobilize more people to join a mass campaign planned on Jan. 13 to paralyze the capital.
Led by Suthep Thaugsuban, secretary-general of the People's Democratic Reform Committee, protesters started at about 10 a.m. a march of about eight km in downtown Bangkok. Full story