Pattaya Daily News

08 April 2009 :: 19:04:01 pm 27805

Anti-Govt Protesters Rally at Privy Council President‘s Home

BANGKOK, April 8 - Anti-government protesters led by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) gathered at the private residence of Privy Council President Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda in Bangkok before noon Wednesday and vowed to stay there until Friday.
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Amid tight security provided by policemen and barricades installed in front of the residence of Gen. Prem, a former prime minister and statesman, most of the “Red Shirt” demonstrators marched from the rally site at Government House where they have been protesting since March 26 demanding that the Government dissolve the House of Representatives and conduct a new election.

Traffic in the area was virtually paralysed as a number of roads were ordered closed by police.

The protesters have now successfully blocked at least three areas, including Government House, the nearby Royal Plaza and Gen. Prem’s home.

No violence was reported so far as leaders of the UDD took turns attacking the privy council president, who has been villified by convicted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra for having allegedly masterminded the bloodless coup of September 2006 which toppled Mr. Thaksin’s government.

Jatuporn Promphan, a leading UDD member, said demonstrators would initially remain at Gen. Prem?s residence at least three days.

Emphasising that police and army personnel would be lenient towards the protesters, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said he would not dissolve the House as demanded by the UDD.

Mr. Abhisit also said the ongoing protest would not disrupt the three-day summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with six other leaders from other regions, starting Friday in Thailand’s seaside resort of Pattaya.

However, Mr. Abhisit said security measures in Pattaya must be improved, and that security officials are reviewing them.

Mr. Abhisit?s remarks were made after his motorcade was attacked by UDD protesters in Pattaya on Tuesday. His driver was injured while the rear windshield of his car was smashed and broken. The prime minister was unharmed.

Tuesday’s incident was the first instance of the UDD protesters using violence against the prime minister, despite their pledge not to do so.

“Yesterday’s incident shouldn?t have happened. If the police didn?t carry out their duty (then), punitive action will have to be taken against them,”  said Mr. Abhisit.

He said adequate security measures had been provided to important persons, places and financial institutions, which according to rumour, are to be targeted by the protesters. The superintendent of the Pattaya police station has been transferred to Provincial Police Region 2 for 30 days because of the incident. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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