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Pattaya Daily News

14 May 2010 :: 13:05:44 pm 20392

Nationwide Emergency Declared Amidst Bangkok Shootings

Thailand’s governmental agency, the Center for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) has enacted the Emergency act in a further 5 provinces across the nation on Thursday bring the total to 15. Whilst in Bangkok several further attacks by unknown gunmen have killed at least 2 people and injured several as peace negotiations once again broke down between the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) and the Abhisit led government.
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Bangkok, the 14th of May 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Amongst the injured was former Major General of the Royal Thai Army Khattiya Sawasdiphol. Maj Gen Khattiya, commonly referred to as ‘Seh Daeng,’ was hit in the head in what is thought to have been a targeted sniper attack. Maj Gen Khattiya is an unofficial leader in the Red Shirts political protests to oust the current Abhisit led government, campaigning strictly for the immediate dissolution of the House and fresh elections whilst being responsible in part for the leadership of the ‘Red Guards’. At the time of the attack he was allegedly giving an interview to several New York Times reporters and other gathered journalists.

Various fractions from within the government believe that Maj Gen Khattiya is responsible for having led the black-clad gunmen who in part were responsible for the fatal April 10 clashes following the failed, government initiated, military crackdown in the capital. Maj Gen Khattiya is currently in a critical condition at the Vajira Hospital in Bangkok where he is under heavy police guard.

In further news, reports have come to fruition that key Red Shirts leaders including; Korkaew Pikulthong, Adisorn Piangket, Visa Khantap, Phaijit Aksornnarong and Veera Musikhapong have caused a rift in the ranks of the UDD, voicing their opinion against the continued protests in the Thai capital. Although not confirmed, Red leader Veera Musikhapong is alleged to have fled the Ratchaprasong rally site and is attempting to leave the country. The Red Shirt leadership is thought to consist of up to 20 co-leaders with various other key figures such as Maj Gen Khattiya and former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra observed as figureheads for the movement.

A resultant effect of the reignited protests in Bangkok and the extensive upgrade in military personnel present in the capital has seen both the United States and British Embassies close with severe travel warnings reinstated by over 40 foreign countries. Following orders from the Thai government, the Royal Thai Army and security forces present in Bangkok have increased their presence, completely surrounding the Red Shirts Ratchaprasong rally site with fortified emplacements and armoured vehicles.

The Thai government has since extended the Emergency Act to include a further 5 provinces. At present provinces which have been declared in an Emergency Situation are: Chon Buri, Nontha Buri, Samut Prakan, Pathum Thani, Ayutthaya, Udon Thani, Chaiyaphum, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Si Sa Ket, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nan, Lampung, Nakhon Sawan and the nation’s capital of Bangkok.

Red Shirt leaders, from the Ratchaprasong stage, broadcast their defiance of the impending crackdown stating that although they were not abject to continued negotiations they would wholeheartedly resist any attempts to disperse the gathered protesters. The UDD also revealed that groups of Red Shirt supporters would now be sent to surround armoured vehicles to prevent them from moving in on the protesters.

Peace negotiations along with the announced November 14 election were taken off the table by Prime Minister Abhisit on Thursday following the Red Shirts defiance in disbanding their protests in the capital. Whilst Red Shirt leaders state that Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban is responsible for the breakdown in negotiations after failing to hand himself over to the Department of Special Investigations (DSI) for his part in ordering the April 10 crackdown on Red Shirt protesters.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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