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Pattaya Daily News

31 March 2010 :: 13:03:26 pm 17128

Government Hints At Election While Reds Remain Intransigent

As Red-Shirt leader, Veera Musigapong, reiterates his instance that he will fight to the bitter end, Jatuporn Promphan announced a new large rally for Saturday, as well as threatening to descend on the offices of the presidents of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Thai Industries if they didn’t stop criticising the Red Shirts. Meanwhile, Thaksin is apparently in Russia, after promising to continue funding the popular struggle, which once again turned violent as a grenade was fired into the Foundation of Prem Tinsulanonda, along with a ping-pong bomb in Sanam Luang
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March 31, 2010, [Pattaya Daily News]: the Red Shirts are still insistent that the government should dissolve the House of Representatives within 15 days and have ruled out a third round of talks, promising a further rally on Saturday, as well as threatening to move on Parliament, to attempt to persuade the troops guarding it to return to barracks and tear down barricades around it. Significantly, a group of academics has suggested they modify their 15-day deadline as being unrealistic, Veera Musigapong is not so easily swayed, however, insisting “We will continue our fight until we win.” Despite the Red’s disavowal of violence, Veera is apparently not averse to using psychological warfare, threatening to descend on the offices of key business community leaders, the presidents of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Thai Industries if they don’t modify their verbal criticism of the Red Shirts.

The government, meanwhile, whilst being equally adamant about not capitulating on the House dissolution issue exhibited their eternal optimism via the prime minister’s secretary-general, Korbsak Sabhavasu, who, in relation to further negotiations, stated “I never give up. I will have to try more.” Promisingly, the government, through the mouthpiece of DeputyPrime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, told a Democratic Party meeting that elections have tentatively been scheduled for January 23, 2011. In this event, a member of the Election Commission, Sodsri Sattayatham, has suggested that a new Election Commission be formed to make it more palatable to the UDD as the present one was established by the coup-makers would therefore be unacceptable to the Red Shirts.

Bombs continue to be used as a weapon of persuasion, the most recent M-67grenade attack worryingly being targeted at the compound of Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, an elder statesman of high repute. The compound at U-thong Nok Road was hit at 8pm, yesterday, the explosion damaging an electrical transformer and a car, but causing no casualties, according to police. The Reds continue to deny any responsibility for the continuing attacks.

The Red Shirts are also keen to counter the accusation that they are mere pawns of fugitive ex-PM Thaksin, saying they have group not individual leadership and that all decisions are made on this basis and in response to public demand. Thaksin, himself, now appears to have decamped to Russia via Sweden, ostensibly to meet a billionaire who wanted to invest in Asia and persuade him to put his funds into Thailand. Despite what the Red’s leadership says, Thaksin’s frequent speeches beamed from overseas have had a strong impact on the rally and the stalled talks between the government and the protest leaders. He apparently intends to “go all out and spent a lot” so as to force the government out of power as soon as possible so they won’t have an advantage in the next election. Accordingly, Thaksin will not exactly be overjoyed that The National Anti-Corruption Commission has authorised immediate transfer into government reserves of the Bt46.37 billion in frozen assets, despite the Shinawatra family’s appeal.

Mark Battle (Roving Reporter)

Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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