Thai protest leaders to surrender, but the rally goes on


One week on from deadly clashes between the Red Shirts and security forces,the protesters said they expected a new push by the army to disperse them after its chief was put in charge of security in the strife-torn capital.
"On May 15, 24 of us will surrender. All of the leaders," said one of the top Red Shirts, Nattawut Saikuar. "For now the 24 of us will keep rallying to show sincerely that we won't run away," he said.

"I'm sure the order to suppress us will come out soon."
The Red Shirts, who are seeking immediate elections, have so far ignored repeated calls by authorities to disperse from the capital's commercial heartland, despite arrest warrants outstanding against core leaders.

They support fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra and accuse the government of elitism and being undemocratic as it came to power after a parliamentary vote that followed a court verdict ousting Thaksin's allies.
Late yesterday embattled Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva put his army chief Anupong Paojinda in charge of security, after a bungled operation to arrest some protest leaders at a hotel in Bangkok's northern outskirts. (

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