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Bangkok Silom standoff continues as Crime Detection Division investigates grenade death

Written By: herbrunbridge - Apr• 25•10

Dr. Porntip Rojanasunan, director of Thailand's Central Institute of Forensic Science at Sala Daeng grenade blast site, with an undentified member of the press

Amidst discussions for a possible end to the Silom standoff, UDD red shirts’ barriers were raised even higher, Thai troops bivouacked at the Sala Daeng BTS skytrain station, and the Central Institute of Forensic Science’s director Dr. Porntip Rojanasunan paid a visit to the building where an M79 grenade killed a protester earlier in the week.

Events at Silom have not only closed the grenade-damaged Sala Daeng station, but have caused the entire BTS skytrain system to close at 7 pm, five hours earlier than its usual closing time of midnight. Many businesses near the intersection of Silom and Rama IV have been closed, and concertina wire has been set up on sidewalks to protect no-go areas. A general tension seems to be gripping the red shirts security people manning the perimeter of the barricade, who are armed with automatic weapons, and routinely conduct searches of passers by.

Yesterday, Dr. Porntip Rojanasunan, a member of the special committee investigating the deadly protests of April 10, inspected the damage at the building housing the Au Bon Pain bakery where one “multicolored” protester was killed in Thursday’s grenade attack.

The bone of contention between the red shirts and the government remains the potential date that the House will be dissolved. It is unfathomable to many that commerce in two significant business areas in Bangkok is essentially shut down, traffic in these areas has been ground to a halt, and BTS skytrain hours have been curtailed. While many state the belief that this can’t continue for much longer, the memory of the shutting down of Suvarnabhumi airport by protesters for weeks last year remains a strong one, and the reality of a long-term impasse appears more of a possibility as each day passes.

Military and government officials today issued a warning that a major scale military move was a possibility.

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