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Thai protest leader urged to surrender

The Thai government has said the leader of violent protests aimed at ousting the prime minister should surrender and face charges against him, including insurrection, ruling out further talks until he did so.

Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, a former deputy prime minister, has dismissed the charges and vowed to press on with the protests after a pause out of respect for the 86th birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej today.

The protests are the latest eruption of a conflict that pits the Bangkok-based royalist establishment against mostly poorer Thais loyal to Ms Yingluck and her brother, former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who was toppled by the military in 2006 and lives in self-imposed exile.

Suthep, 64, a silver-haired politician from Thailand's south who resigned as a politician in the pro-establishment Democrat Party to lead the protests, wants a vaguely defined "people's council" to replace the government.

Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul, who is also head of a special internal security panel, said Suthep should give himself up.

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