Thailand's King Speaks As Protests Continue

Fears of civil war in Thailand are deepening following a day of protests, blockades and a grenade attack against a politician. The country's revered King made a rare appearance on Thai television on Monday but made no direct comment on the political troubles in his kingdom. Protesters have fortified an encampment in Bangkok's main shopping district and have urged supporters in northern provinces to block convoys of police and soldiers from reinforcing the capital. Hopes for an end to a seven-week standoff that has paralysed Bangkok and killed 26 people were dashed over the weekend when Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva rejected a proposal by the protesters for an election in three months. Concern is growing about the impact the prolonged protests is having on domestic businesses, with signs that consumer confidence is flagging, and the tourism industry - Thailand's biggest foreign exchange earner - getting decimated.