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As shutdown nears, anxiety grows

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As the January 13 date for the anti-government protest movement's "Bangkok shutdown" approaches, anxiety is growing over the major disruptions it could cause. 

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"Bangkok Shutdown" shirts were selling very well near the Ratchadamnoen rally site yesterday, but what will happen if it actually occurs? THANARAK KHOONTON

As shutdown nears, anxiety grows

As the January 13 date for the anti-government protest movement' s "Bangkok shutdown" approaches, anxiety is growing over the major disruptions it could cause.

After returning to his Ratchadamnoen base from yesterday's march last evening, People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban tried to reassure the general public that their lives would not be unduly affected.

He said only the inner parts of the capital city where government offices are located would be shut down on January 13. They include the Lat Phrao intersection, Victory Monument, Asoke intersection, Ratchaprasong intersection and Pathumwan intersection.

The government office complex at Chaeng Wattana would be besieged by PDRC protesters from Nonthaburi province to prevent officials from getting to their offices.

Public transportation systems and emergency services would be allowed to carry on normally, he said.

A shutdown of the inner city is not a minor matter, however, and caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is reportedly pushing for a new dialogue with the anti-government protest movement to avert the shutdown.

Ms Yingluck has asked the military to act as a mediator between the government and the PDRC ahead of the shutdown plan, a government source said.

An initial meeting on Saturday between Mr Suthep and several top military figures was unsuccessful, however, as the PDRC leader reiterated his demands for an interim government to push for national reforms, the source said.

Meanwhile, tensions were raised yesterday when the army announced it plans to move heavy artillery and armaments into Bangkok Monday night. The movement was in preparation for a parade marking Army Day on January 18 and should not be a cause for concern, the army said.

While the announcement was apparently intended to allay any fears of a military coup, red-shirt leaders quickly claimed that movement of arms and the Bangkok shutdown were both part of coup preparations. 

In today's editorial, The Bangkok Post takes a dim view of Mr Suthep's shutdown plan, saying it goes well beyond a commendable push for political reform.

"For more than two months, Suthep Thaugsuban has directed a successful people's protest. He has shown the country a powerful opposition, forced the government to resign and put much-needed political reform on the front burner.

But his plan to "shut down Bangkok" next week is a step too far. It puts his great mass uprising on a dangerous trail that risks fringe violence, harms ordinary people and once again punctures the country's image.

If Mr Suthep actually implements his blockade of inner Bangkok next week, it will be illegal, dangerous and actually harmful to millions – a vast majority of his fellow citizens."

The praise for Mr Suthep's "successful" protest will anger government supporters and the condemnation of the shutdown offensive will infuriate his followers, but many people in the middle probably agree that Bangkok should remain open.

Adapted from stories in today's Bangkok Post.

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Vocabulary:

affected: having an effect or influence on - ถูกผลกระทบ, มีผลต่อ

allay: to make some feel less of something, like worry, fear or doubt - ขจัดความสงสัย ขจัดความกังวล

anxiety: an uncomfortable feeling of nervousness or worry about something that is happening or might happen in the future - ความวิตกกังวล

apparently: based only on what you have heard or think, not on what you are certain is true; seemingly - ตามที่ได้รู้มา

approach: to move closer to someone or something - เข้าใกล้

armaments: weapons, especially large guns, bombs, tanks, etc - อาวุธยุทโธปกรณ์

arms: weapons - อาวุธ

artillery: large powerful guns that are used by an army and are moved on wheels or fixed in one place - ปืนใหญ่

avert: to prevent something bad or harmful from happening - ป้องกันไม่ให้เกิด

besiege: to surround a place and prevent people or supplies from getting in or out - ห้อมล้อม ล้อมปิด

blockade: an action that is intended to prevent people or goods from moving from one place to another - การกีดขวาง; การกีดขวางการจราจร

capital: the most important town or city of a country, usually where the central government operates from - เมืองหลวง

caretaker: in charge for a short time, until a new leader or government is chosen - รักษาการ

claim: to say that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - อ้าง

commendable: deserving praise and approval - ที่ควรยกย่อง

complex: an area that has several parts - พื้นที่ประกอบด้วยส่วนต่าง ๆ

concern: a worry - ความกังวล

condemnation: a public statement in which someone criticises someone or something severely - การประนามหยามเหยียด

coup d’etat: the seizure of power in a country by a group of people, usually members of the armed forces - รัฐประหาร

demand: a very firm request for something - ข้อเรียกร้อง, การเรียกร้อง

dialogue: formal discussion between two groups or countries, especially when they are trying to solve a problem, end a disagreement, etc - การสนทนา

dim view: a negative opinion or assessment สงสัย,มองในแง่ร้าย - สงสัย,มองในแง่ร้าย

disruption: a situation in which something cannot continue because of a problem - การขัดขวาง, การหยุดชะงัก

editorial: a newspaper article in which the editor gives their opinion on an issue in the news - บทบรรณาธิการ

emergency: an unexpected situation involving danger in which immediate action is necessary - เหตุฉุกเฉิน

fellow citizens: people who live in the same country - เพื่อนร่วมชาติ

figure: someone who is important in some way - บุคคลสำคัญ

fringe: the outer edge of something - ขอบรอบนอก

general public: people in general - ประชาชน, สาธารณชน, มหาชน

harm: to cause damage to someone/something - ทำร้าย, ทำอันตราย, ทำลาย

illegal: against the law - ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย

image: an opinion that people have about someone or something - ภาพลักษณ์

implement: to make something such as an idea, plan, system or law start to work and be used - นำแผนหรือนโยบายมาปฏิบัติ, นำมาใช้

infuriate: to cause someone to become extremely angry - ทำให้โกรธ

initial: early; first - เบื้องต้น

intended: planned; wanted to happen - ที่ได้วางแผนไว้ ที่ตั้งใจให้เกิดขึ้น

interim government: a government that is intended to last only a short time until a permanent government is chosen - รัฐบาลรักษาการณ์

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

located: where something is - ตั้งอยู่

mass: large numbers - จำนวนมหาศาล

matter: something that you are discussing, considering or dealing with - สิ่งที่พูดถึง ประเด็นที่พูดถึง

mediator: a person who talks to two separate people or groups involved in a disagreement to try to help them to agree or find a solution to their problems - ผู้ไกล่เกลี่ย

minor: not important; small; having little influence or effect - เล็กน้อย

movement: a group of people who share the same aim and work together to achieve it - การเคลื่อนไหวเพื่อวัตถุประสงค์ทางการเมือง

normally: as usual; properly - ตามปกติ

occur: to happen - เกิดขึ้น

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

on the front burner: in a position of the highest importance or priority - บุริมภาพ, ลำดับก่อ

opposition: fighting against an opponent; being against something/someone - การต่อต้าน, การคัดค้าน

ordinary: not unusual or different in any way - ธรรมดา, ปกติ

praise: an expression of strong approval or admiration - การยกย่อง, การชื่นชม

prevent: to stop somebody from doing something; to stop something from happening - ขัดขวาง, กัน, กีดขวาง

protest: a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something - ชุมนุมประท้วง

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

puncture: to make a small hole in the surface of something such as a tyre with something sharp - เจาะ

raise: to increase the amount or level of something - เพิ่ม, ทำให้สูงขึ้น, ส่งเสริม, ยกระดับ

reassure: to make someone feel less worried about something - ให้ความมั่นใจ

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

reiterate: to repeat something in order to emphasise it - พูดซ้ำ ย้ำ

resign: to leave a job permanently - ลาออกจากตำแหน่ง

risk: the possibility that something dangerous or unpleasant might happen - ความเสี่ยง

secretary-general: the person who is in charge of the department that deals with the running of a large international or political organisation - เลขาธิการ, เลขาธิการใหญ่

source: someone who gives information - แหล่งข่าว

tension: the feeling caused by a lack of trust between people, groups or countries - ความตึงเครียด

trail: path through the countryside, often made or used for a particular purpose - ทางเดิน ทางดิน ทางแคบๆที่เดินได้

transportation: the process of moving people or things from one place to another - การขนส่ง

unduly: more than you think is reasonable or necessary - อย่างมากเกินไป, อย่างเกินไป, อย่างเกินควร

uprising: a political situation in which a large group of people opposes and tries to defeat the government or a ruler - การลุกฮือขึ้นก่อการปฏิวัติ

vast majority: much more than half -

violence: physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people - ความรุนแรง, การใช้กำลังทำลาย

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