Suddenly after days of tear gas and rubber bullets hundreds of cleaners in Bangkok have come out in force to clear up the debris strewn streets.
The day before, the prime minister ordered police to stop battling the ant-government protesters, but this lull is for another reason:
“The time has come to clean up before paying respects to the king on his birthday …… we will take a break from protesting for two or three days,” explained one Bangkok resident.
The government hopes its sharp reversal in strategy will defuse the conflict that has killed five people and wounded hundreds more, but as one protester said, “this is just a step towards victory for us but it is not complete.”
While Thailand’s military claims the threat of a coup has passed, the opposition says it will continue the campaign to try to topple Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to keep her brother Thaksin from returning to power.