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Pattaya Daily News

18 October 2008 :: 17:10:10 pm 41125

Pad’s Chamlong: Pm Somchai Should Resign in Wake of Human Rights Findings

BANGKOK, Oct 18 -- The Thai government should accept responsibility for Bangkok‘s violent street clashes last week and Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat should resign to show his responsibility following an investigation disclosure by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), a top anti-government activist said Saturday.
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Retired Maj-Gen. Chamlong Srimuang, a core leader of People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), said there is no need to wait for the result of the investigation being conducted by a government-appointed committee to determine who was at fault on October 7, because the Human Rights Commission has announced its verdict already.

According to the commission, a respected neutral body, the police are responsible.

The prime minister suggested waiting for the committee’s result, Gen. Chamlong acknowledged, but the NHRC has more credibility because of its neutrality, he said. NHRC chairman Saneh Jamarik and chairman Surasee Kosolnavin of the NHRC sub-committee investigating the police crowd dispersal operation on October 7, together told a press conference that their initial investigation, obtained from questioning protesters from the PAD, police and eyewitnesses, found that police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds three times, causing two deaths and many body wounds and lost limbs.

Mr. Surasee said police fired tear gas without warning at demonstrators who gathered at parliament on that day.

Because of that, Gen. Chamlong said, the prime minister is derelict in his duty by not ordering police to stop firing tear gas at the protesters, which is counter to Article 157 of the Constitution.

When the prime minister said on Friday that he would continue at his post, Gen. Chamlong said, it was within the PAD’s earlier expectations. The Peoples’ Alliance did not expect the prime minister would resign, he said, but will continue to pressure the government to resign.

Mr. Somchai asserted at a press conference on Friday that he would not call it quits, saying he has “significant tasks” coming up, including the royal funeral of the late HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana on November 14-19, the celebration of His Majesty the King’s birthday on December 5, and hosting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in December.

Referring to the military commanders public urging of the prime minister to leave his post to show responsibility for the October 7, Gen. Chamlong commented that the military chiefs must have some other options in mind, but the PAD would not press them to reveal their plans. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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