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Final confrontation?

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Anti-government rally leaders promise a final push today. We continue our real-time coverage of the protests in Thailand, beginning with a review of last nights events. Will everything end today? 

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For today's (December 2) coverage, click here: http://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/learning-from-news/382687/crunch-time-day-one

Once again, we'll be following the events all day as they happen. You can read our previous continuing coverage here:

http://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/learning-from-news/382260/protests-no-end-in-sight

http://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/learning-from-news/382098/where-are-we-and-what-next

http://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/learning-from-news/381919/protests-not-over-yet

The calm before the storm? Police keep watch near Wat Benchamabophit, the Marble Temple. SEKSAN ROJJANAMETAKUL

22:40

This was just posted by our online reporters:

Anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban met Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra about 1 hour ago.

Mr Suthep told the press conference at the Government Complex that he met the prime minister before the armed forces leaders including Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha.

The meeting was to make clear before the top military leaders the position of the Democratic Reform Committee that her resignation and a House dissolution were not enough.

In other news, the Phue Thai party has said that Ms Yingluck would also make a statement, but that has not yet happened. Mr Suthep has given her two days to consider his demands. It will be interesting to see how she responds, if she does. More tomorrow.

20:20

Deputy Prime Minister Pracha Promnok has read a statement in which he accused PDRC leader Suthep Thuagsuban of treason. Sitting with four other grim-faced cabinet ministers, he said the government had the situation under control and would continue to provide services as best it could. He said government workers would not take up Mr Suthep's offer of a day off. He urged members of the public to stay home tonight as unscrupulous people (the third hand) might take advantage of the situation.

What people noticed, however, was the absence of Prime Minister Yingluick. All day long, rumours have been flying that she has left the country. They have been denied by top government officials, but no one seems to know where she is, or they are not telling.

Offensives against two key government sites have been suspended until tomorrow. PANUMAS SANGUANWONG

Meanwhile, as night fell, leaders of the Network of Students and People for Reform have told its member who have tried unsuccessful to break into Government House and the Metropolitan Police Bureau to stand back over night. The said the situation was too unsafe to operate in the dark. The offensive would resume tomorrow.

17:00

Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill

Suthep Thuagsuban, leader of People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) has just gone on television at the Government Complex to say the actions of the past month are in defence of the constitution which the Yingluck government has consciously violated. He say, people, have the right under the constitution to take action. He said all movements have been peaceful, without weapons, and read a long list of government ministries, agencies and free television channels that have been taken over by protest groups. He ordered the media to cease broadcasting news from the government and called for government workers to stay away from work, starting tomorrow.

Here is the scene outsider Ramkhamhaeng University earlier this afternoon. KOSOL NAKACHOL

Meanwhile, disturbances have continued in the Ramkhamhaeng area although soldiers were able to get the trapped students out. The university has been ordered closed for two days.

Ramkhamhaeng University has been ordered closed for two days. This scene outside tells you why. KOSOL NAKACHOL

15:40

Social media is alive with talk about government television (channel 11) just cutting away from a statement by the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO) to cover today's lottery drawing.

15:25

A high pressure stream of water hits protesters near the Chamai Maruchet Bridge as they try to force their way into the Government House area. BBC correspondent Jonathan Head just described the confrontation as a standoff. PAWAT LAPAISARNTAKSIN

The standoff continues between the Network of Students and People for Reform of Thailand trying to force their way into the Government House area and riot police determined to keep them out.

On the other side, police, too, have been the recipients of their own tear gas as protesters have through canisters back. CHANAT KATANYU

13:30

Reports are coming in that soldiers have arrived at Ramkhamhaeng to help the trapped students leave. Meanwhile, protest groups are systematically entering the major TV stations. It is not yet clear how much coverage of the protest situation they will be able to provice.

13:00 

A huge crowd nears the Interior Ministry. APICHART JINAKUL

The Ministry of the Interior has been occupied. @jariya_TRnews has photos. One reason this ministry was of special interest is that the minister was on the red-shirt stage at Rajamangala stadium next to Ramkhamhaeng university last night while the trouble was going on outside. Protesters were angered that police were large absent.

12:45

A large, so far peaceful, crowd is outside the national police headquarters (in the Siam Square, Central World, Siam Paragon area). There are rumours that the prime minister is there, but a channel 7 reporter says he can't confirm that.

The crowd outside national police headquarters has grown. APICHIT JINAKUL

Still no invitation from police for rally leaders to come inside police headquarters. It could be a long wait. APICHIT JINAKUL

The army chief says he's ลำบากใจ (worried, depressed, distressed) and urges a halt to tear gas, a halt to protesters' s movements in favour of talks

12:30

There are quite a number of people tweeting on the situation from the various sites. Here is a start and I'll add to list periodically.

@georgehenton
@pakhead (Jonathan Head) BBC
@photo_journ  He's got a drone at Govt House!
@gavingough  Another 1st-class photographer
@aleursic  Very good freelance journalist
@Journotopia Andrew R.C. Marshall (special correspondent for Reuters) Good photos as well.
@wayne_hay  Freelance
@photogjack
@jeab_TRnews
@newley  freelance
@W7VOA Steve Herman  Voice of America
@BKKApologist
@RichardBarrow As usual, he is everywhere today, often helping people determine safe places to visit, shop, etc.
@WassanaNanuam (mainly in Thai) Bangkok Post reporter on military affairs
@prachpan reporter for Voice TV (in Thai)
@noppatjak (mainly in Thai)
@jariya_TRnews (in Thai)
@news1005fm  (in Thai)

12:00

Police have started using tear gas. Lots of it. Some of it is being thrown back.

Meanwhile, our reporters say, protesters are removing barriers near Wat Benjamaborpit intersection as they are trying to seize Government House.

That won't be easy.

11:35

It sounds like takeovers or blackouts of major TV channels are possible. Tense negotiations are now going on at Thai PBS with protesters demanding to takeover or they will shut the station down. Channel 3, which is on the target list, is still broadcasting live coverage. Protesters at all sites are being warned to prepare for tear gas.

11:15

Our online reporters have just reported that Ratchadamnoen rally leader Sathit Wongdamnoen has announced the marchers are on the way to eight locations:

The first group of protesters, led by Chumpol Julasai, would head for the Metropolitan Police headquarters.

The second, led by Komsan Thongsiri, secretary-general of the State Enterprises Workers Relations Confederation, would be heading for the Interior Ministry.

The third group would move to the Labour Ministry.  They were led by former Democrat list MP Issara Somchai.

The protesters in the fourth group, led by Taya Teepsuwan, would be heading for Channel 3 television station.

The fifth, led by Jittapat Pirompakdi, would go to Channel 5.

The sixth, led by Nathapol Teepsuwan, would leave for Channel 7.

The seventh, led by Thanom Onketpol, would go to Channel 9.

The eighth, led by Thaworn Senneam, would march to Channel 11.

Mr Sathit announced on the stage that protesters from the Finance Ministry had taken control of the Public Relations Department in a lightning move this morning, and members of the Dhamma Army had already laid siege to Government House.

Meanwhile, Thai PBS reports that the 2000 Ramkhamhaeng students taking shelter on campus are still unable to leave. Help is arriving, however, and a noon exit is likely.

10:47

Convoys of protesters are now leaving Ratchadamnoen for the targeted sites. Blue Sky TV is still broadcasting live, so if you want to follow their (not very impartial) coverage, you can do so here: http://www.tvjaa.com/stream/blueskychannel.html

Catching up

Let's first review the night's events. Confused fighting continued thorughout the night at Ramkhamhaeng. The Erawan Medical Centre reports one dead and 45 injured, but it is already clear the death toll is higher. The first death was a 21-year male and the second, a 23-year-old soldier, said by his girlfriend to be a red-shirt supporter. Red-shirt sources say more of their supporters were killed. They said four were killed in total.

The situation at the university is not secure enough for about 2000 students taking shelter inside to leave the campus, according to a student just interviewed on Thai PBS. He said no police were present and they needed help to evacuate 500 women students. He said every time they tried to go out, shots were fired at them.

On a more positive note, red-shirt leaders in Rajamangala stadium have abruptly ended their rally and told and estimated 70,000 people to go home. They want to lessen the chance of further confrontations, they said, and to not burden police who already have a huge job to do. The worry is that there may be incidents as the crowds makes its way out of Bangkok.

Meanwhile, leaders at the two main anti-government rally sites are organising the groups to being their marches to the targeted government ministries and agencies. 10:45 is supposed to be the starting time, but that time has already been delayed once.

Standing in their way will be large contingents of riot police who have now been joined by some military units.

Soldiers have now joined riot police to defend Government House. CHANAT KATANYU

Nearly 3,000 troops will be deployed to reinforce security in Bangkok, Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (Capo) spokesman Piya Utayo said.

''From tonight there will be soldiers out to take care of security,'' he said in a televised address, adding that 2,730 military personnel from the army, navy and airforce would take part.

Vocabulary:

abruptly: suddenly and unexpectedly, and often unpleasant - อย่างกะทันหัน

absence: not being present - การหายไป ไม่ปรากฏตัว

absent: without; not including, not present - ขาด

address: a formal speech - ปราศรัย

agency: a government department that provides a particular service - หน่วยงานราชการ

barrier: a wall, pile of sandbags, etc., that prevents water from entering - สิ่งกีดขวาง

broadcast: to send out a programme on television or radio - กระจายเสียง,กระจายข่าว

burden: to give somebody a duty, responsibility, etc. that causes worry, difficulty or hard work - เป็นภาระ

cabinet minister: a member of the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - รัฐมนตรี

campus: the buildings of a university or college and the land around them - พื้นที่ที่เป็นที่ตั้งของมหาวิทยาลัย

canister: a round metal container that is used to hold gases or chemical substances under pressure - กระป๋องสเปรย์

cease: to stop - จบ, ยุติ

complex: an area that has several parts - พื้นที่ประกอบด้วยส่วนต่าง ๆ

confederation: a group of organisations that are united - การรวมกลุ่มกัน สหภาพ สมาพันธ์

confrontation: a situation in which people or groups are arguing angrily or are fighting - การเผชิญหน้า

confusing: difficult to understand; not clear - น่าสับสน

consciously: being aware of something; noticing something - อย่างตระหนักได้

constitution: the set of laws and basic principles that a country in governed by - รัฐธรรมนูญ

contingent: a group of soldiers, police, vehicles etc from a particular place, forming part of a larger group - คณะ

convoy: a group of vehicles (or ships) travelling together - ขบวนรถ, ขบวนเรือ

correspondent: a newspaper or television reporter, especially one who deals with a particular subject or area - นักข่าว

coverage: the reporting of news and sport in newspapers and on the radio and television - การรายงานข่าว

death toll: the number of people killed - ยอดผู้เสียชีวิต

defence: protecting somebody/something from attack - การป้องกัน, การต้าน, การ พิทักษ์

delay: to do something later than is planned or expected; to cause something to happen at a later time - เลื่อน, เลื่อนเวลา

demand: to ask for something very firmly - เรียกร้อง, ต้องการ

deny: to say that something is not true - ปฏิเสธ

deploy: (of police, soldiers, government officials or equipment) to put in place ready for action - ส่ง ประจำการ

determined: having made a firm decision to do something and to not let anyone prevent you - แน่นอน,ซึ่งตัดสินใจแล้ว

disturbance: an occasion during which people behave in a noisy or violent way in a public place - ก่อความไม่สงบ หรือรบกวนประชาชน

estimated: thought to be a particular amount, size, etc. based on a guess or the best information available - ประมาณการ

evacuate: to cause to leave a place because it is not safe - เคลื่อนย้ายออกจาก

grimace: making an ugly expression with your face to show pain, disgust, etc. - หน้าตาบูดเบี้ยว,แหกหูแหกตา, หน้าบูดบึ้ง

headquarters: the place where an organisation or company has its main offices - กองบัญชาการ

House dissolution: the ending of the current term of the House of Representations, followed by a new election - การยุบสภา

impartial: fair; not connected to or influenced by one particular person or group - เป็นกลาง ไม่เข้าข้างฝ่ายใด ยุติธรรม

in favour of: preferring to choose someone or something that you believe is better -

incident: something that happens, usually something bad - เหตุการณ์

intersection: a place where roads, lines, etc., join or cross each other - สี่แยก

lay siege to: (of a group of people) to surround (go around all sides of) a building or place in order to protest about something or to force the people on the inside out - เข้าห้อมล้อม เข้ายึด

lessen: to reduce; to make something become smaller, weaker, less important, etc. - ทำให้น้อยลง

lightning: very fast or sudden - อย่างรวดเร็ว, ฉับพลัน,

live: happening now, i.e., not recorded earlier - ถ่ายทอดสด

male: being a man or a boy - ผู้ชาย

meanwhile: at the same time - ในเวลาเดียวกัน

media: radio, television, newspaper, the Internet, considered as a group - สื่อ

metropolitan police: the police in responsible for a city - ตำรวจนครบาล

negotiations: formal discussion in which people or groups try to reach an agreement - การเจรจาต่อรอง

occupied: controlled by someone who entered it by force or as a group - ถูกยึดครอง

offensive: a series of actions aimed at achieving something in a way that attracts a lot of attention - การรุกราน,การบุกรุก

operate: to carry out a planned activity involving a lot of people to work in a particular way or from a particular place - ปฏิบัติ, ปฏิบัติงาน

personnel: the people who are employed in a company, organization or one of the armed forces - บุคลากร, เจ้าหน้าที่, พนักงาน

positive: good - ที่ดี

pressure: a force pressing against something - ความกดดัน

protester: someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc - ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง

rally: a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something - การชุมนุม

recipients: people who receive something - ผู้รับ

reform: a change that is intended to correct a situation that is wrong or unfair - การแก้ไข การปฏิรูป

reinforce: to make a group of police or soldiers stronger by adding more people or equipment to it - เสริมกำลังเจ้าหน้าที่

resignation: the act of leaving a job, position of power, etc. - การลาออกจากตำแหน่ง

riot police: police who are trained to deal with violent groups of people - ตำรวจปราบจราจล

rumour: a piece of information, or a story, that people talk about, but that may not be true - ข่าวลือ

security: protection; systems providing for safety from attack, harm, or damage - ระบบรักษาความปลอดภัย

shelter: a place where people are protected from danger or bad weather; a temporary place to stay - ที่หลบภัย  ที่พักชั่วคราว

situation: all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place - สถานการณ์

social media: the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. - เครือข่ายสังคมออนไลน์

source: a place where information comes from; someone who gives information - แหล่ง

standoff: a disagreement or fight in which neither opponent can do anything to win or achieve their aim; a stalemate - สถานการณ์ที่ต่างเอาชนะกันไม่ได้

suspend: to stop for a period of time - ยกเลิกชั่วคราว, ระงับชั่วคราว

systematic: done according to a system or plan, in a thorough, efficient or determined way - ซึ่งเป็นระบบ

take advantage of: to use something to get some benefit or "advantage" from -

targeted: was intended to be attacked - ตกเป็นเป้า

tear gas: a gas used by some police and armed forces to control crowds of people. It hurts the eyes and makes them produce tears - ก๊าซน้ำตา

tense: feeling nervous or worried - เครียด

trapped : to be unable to leave a place - ถูกกับดัก

treason: the crime of trying to destroy your country’s government (also rebellion  an attempt to remove a government or leader by force) - การก่อกบฏ

unscrupulous: behaving in a way that is dishonest or unfair in order to get what you want - ที่ไม่ซื่อสัตย์

violate: to do something that is against the law - ละเมิดกฏหมาย

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