Thai protest leader rejects compromise but says 'no civil war'

January 12, 2014 10:21

BANGKOK - The leader of a movement trying to topple Thailand's government said he would call off his protest if civil war threatened to break out but rejected any compromise with the government ahead of a planned "shutdown" of the capital.

Supporters of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra were rallying in her defense on Sunday but steered clear of Bangkok, where people went about their business as usual.

The anti-government protesters accuse Yingluck and her brother, former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, of corruption. She has called an election for Feb. 2 but protesters want her caretaker government to step down immediately.

Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban ruled out talks with the government in an interview published on Sunday, but said he would stand down his movement if, as some fear, violence escalates and civil war looms.

"If it becomes a civil war, I will give up. People's life is precious for me," he was reported as saying by the English-language Sunday Nation. "If someone instigates a civil war, I will tell the people to go home."

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