Thailand’s Government will set up a 12-member taskforce to arrest 19 leaders of anti-government protesters in charges of violating the emergency rule, which was declared in late January.

The Thai Criminal Court on February 5 approved arrest warrants for the said above 19 who are from the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), including former Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban.

In late January, the Thai Government announced a state of emergency in a bid to maintain order in the capital city of Bangkok and its suburbs. However, violence and anti-government demonstrations still occurred in the places.

On February 6, Labor Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung, who is also Director of the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO), said that the centre is seeking arrest warrants against other 39 PDRC leaders for violating the state of emergency.

Up to 1,000 volunteers and policemen will be deployed to take back the Interior Ministry’s headquarters, which is being blockaded by protesters, Chalerm added.

Also on February 6, dozens of hundreds of Thai farmers mounted a protest in Bangkok in the latest show of public anger against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s Government.

About 200 rice farmers, accompanied by trucks and harvesters, massed outside the Ministry of Commerce in protest at the lack of payment under a scheme that PM Yingluck pledged to buy their rice at above market rates.-VNA