Anti-Government Protest In Bangkok

BANGKOK - TENS of thousands of anti-government 'red shirts' paraded through Bangkok yesterday in a move to pressure Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to call for an early election. Police estimated that 120,000 people, 7,000 cars, and more than 10,000 motorcycles wound their way through the capital. The protest had started last weekend with up to 150,000 people, and had appeared to be fizzling out over the week. Yesterday's numbers, however, indicated that the rally still had momentum. Protest leaders have said they would keep going for at least two more weeks. Mr Abhisit had designated top officials to open talks with the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) tomorrow, but its leaders said they would talk only with the Prime Minister and will not meet the emissaries. Yesterday's procession caused major traffic snarls along its 46km route through the city, but the mood remained festive and no violent incidents were reported.