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Thai Parliament session called off due to protestors' besiege
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A scheduled Monday Parliament session was called off following thousands of anti-government protestors led by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) began the besiege of the Parliament complex and other establishments in a showdown effort to bring the "Thaksin-proxy" government down.

Parliament President Chai Chidchob had to make a phone announcement to cancel the joint House-Senate session originally planned to start at 9:30 a.m. (0230GMT) Monday.

He said the meeting will be held until after the two sides -- the PAD and the government could reach an agreement.

The PAD besiege was aimed at, as declared, blocking the government led by Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat from starting the legislative procedures to amend the Constitution 2007 in what the PAD describe as efforts to bring former Prime Minister Thaksin and his allies back to power.

On Monday, thousands of PAD-led protesters, together with vehicles with loud speakers, besieged the Parliament compound in central Bangkok in early morning and by 8:00 a.m. (0100GMT) and all roads leading to the compound were blocked.

A few MPs and senators were trapped in the Parliament, where protesters had cut off the electric power.

Other protestors also marched to besiege some office buildings of Chart Thai Party, one of the six coalition parties in the government.

The protestors broke police's barricades set up around the government establishments.

They planned to lay siege to other government offices, the Stock Exchange of Thailand and homes of ruling coalition party leaders.

Earlier on Oct. 7, the PAD launched a similar besiege to the Parliament where Somchai made a government policy speech. The confrontation turned violent after police fired tear gas to disperse the protestors, causing two deaths and some 400 injuries.

In early morning hours, the PAD-sponsored satellite TV station ASTV was attacked by four grenade explosions, but no casualties were reported.

(Xinhua News Agency November 24, 2008)

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