Pressure is growing on the Thai authorities to end the anti-government protests paralysing Bangkok’s commercial hub.
In the latest confrontation the offices of Thailand’s election watchdog were targeted by Red Shirt demonstrators trying to force the prime minister to dissolve parliament and call a general election.
Judges have thrown out a legal move by the government which would have enabled police to forcibly evacuate the main Pat Pong shopping district.
Thousands of followers of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra have switched the focus of their protests from Government House to lay siege to the shopping malls.
The plan is to hurt Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s supporters where it hurts, in their pockets. The Red Shirts blame the country’s wealthy elite for ousting Shinawatra who portrayed himself as a champion of the poor.
Thai stocks, which have climbed 81 per cent over the last year last closed up just one per cent after sliding earlier because of investor concerns about the continuing protests harming the vital tourist industry.