Protesters threatened to block one of Bangkok’s elevated railways lines on Tuesday, forcing the operators to close it as a precaution while the government warned that it was running out of patience with the weeks-long anti-government demonstration.
“We have been patient for two months,” said Suthep Thaugsuban, deputy prime minister. “But we will use decisive measures under the law from now.”
Mr Suthep’s comments came after days of escalating tension and fuelled a siege mentality among the 8,000 or so hard-core protesters who barricaded themselves behind walls of tyres and sharpened bamboo staves.
The red-shirted protesters had taken over some of Bangkok’s most expensive real estate, closing five high-end shopping malls and half a dozen five-star hotels. Their latest act of disruption closed Bangkok’s Skytrain – which carries half a million passengers a day – for hours, adding to the city’s notorious traffic problems.