Pattaya Daily News

11 April 2009 :: 23:04:59 pm 27599

Emergency to end Soon, Says Suthep; UDD Threatens To Seize Government Offices, Block Traff

PATTAYA, April 11 - The State of Emergency declared in Pattaya Saturday will be lifted soon after completion of the task of protecting and safely sending off the foreign leaders who attended the ASEAN summit, according to Thai Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban.
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The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) stormed the conference venue where government leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and ASEAN’s dialogue partners were to meet Saturday, prompting the Thai government to cancel the summit and declare a state of emergency in the seaside city of Pattaya and Chonburi, the provincial seat.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said during a brief televised address announcing the postponement of the meeting and declaring a state of emergency that the task for him and the government now is to provide security for the leaders to travel back home safely.

“The security of the foreign leaders comes first,” he said.

Mr. Suthep said that after the last leader has departed for his country, the state of emergency will eventually be lifted.

The leaders were transferred to U-tapao military airport near Pattaya and Mr. Abhisit was there to send off the leaders to their home countries.

Mr. Suthep said all leaders understood the situation, and that the summit will be rescheduled at an appropriate time.

He said the government regretted the postponement but the Thai security officials had done their best to protect the meeting. However, they were unarmed, carrying only shields and batons.

They were also ordered to use ‘soft’ measures to handle the protesters and instructed not to physically hurt the protesters, he said.

The deputy prime minister said that the clash between the UDD supporters the band so-called blue clad group — most of whom were wearing black and with obscured identities — was the fight between two groups of people with different ideas, one group anti-government and the other ‘supporting’ the government, he said, and wanting to see the meeting succeed.

He added that one ‘blue-clad’ demonstrator was seriously injured but now safe but no UDD activists were seen to have been treated at hospital.

Meanwhile, the UDD declared “victory” by forcing the cancellation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting with its dialogue partners and urged its supporters to withdraw from Pattaya to join the protesters at their main stage at Government House.

The protesters demand that Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva resign and dissolve the lower House of Parliament to hold fresh elections.

The UDD leaders said their protest will continue until their aim has been reached, that they will carry on their protest at Government House and put more pressure on the Abhisit government.

Two UDD leaders, Jatuporn Prompan and Nattawut Saikua were on stage at Government House accusing Deputy Prime Minister Suthep and Newin Chidchob, a former close aide of Thailand’s fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, convicted of crimes under Thai law, of having “masterminded” the clash.

Mr. Jatuporn said the protesters did not intend to force cancellation of the meeting, they just wanted to complain to foreign leaders about the Thai government.

He also claimed that the government was trying to cut video link signal of Mr. Thaksin who addressed his supporters almost every night.

The UDD leader threatened further that the protesters would block intersections and seize government offices nationwide in retaliation. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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