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Pattaya Daily News

21 April 2010 :: 10:04:27 am 18574

Enter the Yellow’s As Reds Cancel Rally Fearing Violence

Red Shirt leaders yesterday cancelled the planned rally along Bangkok’s Silom Road, fearing government intentions after a statement that military personnel had been given permission to use force to disperse the otherwise peaceful protesters.
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Bangkok, the 21st of April 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Key United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) leader Natthawut Saikua announced, from the Ratchaprasong protest site, that the planned rally along Bangkok’s business district in Silom Road had to be cancelled due to an order given to the military, by the government, that soldiers had been given permission to use live ammunition to disperse any protesters using violence as a means to progress through the blockades.

The change in stance by the government comes after the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), commonly known as the Yellow Shirts, announced that they had given the government 7 days to disperse the Red Shirts from the streets of Bangkok or face a series of counter rallies by the party. The Yellow Shirts are a government aligned party who fought successfully to overthrow the former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a military junta in 2006. In 2008 the Yellow Shirts successfully forced the democratically elected government of Samak Sundaravej’s into a dissolution following a series of mass rallies and violent clashes which also saw the closure of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International airport.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban has denied accusations that the government had ordered the military and security forces to shoot-to-kill any protesters using violence. “The officers must use live weapons only to deter law-violating act, but [the weapons] are not intended to take their lives,” stated and unnamed army spokesman. Mr. Thaugsuban relayed the government fears regarding the impending multicoloured rallies that could take place in Bangkok, (Red, Yellow and Pink shirts), pleading all three groups of protesters to refrain from provocation or bringing their demonstrations into close proximity with each other to avoid confrontation.

In more positive news, the Thai Cabinet approved a Bt25 million compensation payout to the victims and family of the deceased from the April 10 riots. Thailand’s Social Development and Human Security Minister Issara Somchai said that the Bt50 million budget was rejected by the Cabinet however further funds could be sourced in agreement with the Cabinet as the protests continued. The Royal Household Bureau has already granted 50,000 baht to the relatives of each of the deceased whilst the injured have been granted free hospital expenses upon producing their hospital receipts. So far 12 out of the families of the 25 dead have been compensated and 16 of the injured have received the compensation from the bureau since Monday.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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Hugh Jorgan