CityNews – On Sunday 16th February the Thai police met with anti-government protest leaders to discuss the possibility of allowing closed state offices and roads to reopen in Bangkok. The talks ended with no clear conclusion or compromise.
Opposition leader and Buddhist monk Luang Pu Buddha Issara said the government was using this request to reopen buildings as a cover to crack down on the protesters. Talks between him and the police failed to reach a decision for future action.
The police have again stated that they will not use force against the protesters, even though hundreds of riot police have been deployed since Friday the 14th February in an attempt to peacefully take back areas that have been occupied by protesters for months. Authorities have said it will be a slow operation, and that they plan to reclaim at least five protest sites in the coming week.
Security forces are now more confident in their attempts to reopen vital roads and remove barricades put up by protesters, as the protest numbers appear to be dwindling. They will focus on reopening state offices that are located on the outskirts of Bangkok as opposed to the centre, where the most protesters are, so as to avoid any possible conflict between the two factions.
The police and protest leaders have agreed to talk again at a later date.