SPECIAL REPORT: The city is on a knife’s edge as tens of thousands of protesters gather in a bid to overthrow the government
Expectation hangs thick in the air as the anti-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship begins its protest today – with security forces not predicting any increase in tensions until the red shirts gather in Bangkok over the weekend.
The first day of the so-called “million man march” is expected to proceed smoothly, according to a government security source, as UDD supporters gather at various points across the country.
“The most vulnerable period will be March 13 and 14 when the red shirts start arriving in town,” the source said.
“It will be hard to control the crowds and there are high risks of them turning into angry mobs if provoked.”
The source said mischievous groups might exploit the situation and manipulate it to create a state of anarchy.
Five groups would be watched closely, including those led by rogue army officer Khattiya Sawasdiphol and politicians who have close affiliations to ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Security authorities are expecting the UDD’s mass rally to end within a week, the source said.