Pattaya Daily News

27 March 2009 :: 13:03:27 pm 27902

PM Abhisit Puts on Brave Face Despite Red Shirt Protests

Following a wave of protest rallies nationwide, culminating in the biggest mass rally to date, which started yesterday and continues cordoning Bangkok's Government House, today, 27 March, 2009, PM Abhisit Vejjajiva remains intransigent and determined to stay in office.
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The assembled red shirts, staunch followers of fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra, numbered over 3,000 remaining from an estimated crowd of over 35,000, who had originally gathered to hear a 7-minute-long phone message from the former prime minster, last night.

The demonstrators claim Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjavija’s government came to power three months ago through illegal means and are calling for both the dissolution of Parliament and fresh elections. Nattawut Sai-kua, a protest leader told his fellow Thaksin loyalists “We will protest until the illegitimate government is gone. We have to stop them from causing more damage to Thai democracy. We will stay for as long as we need to get the job done.” This was at the behest of Thaksin who has promised to phone his loyal acolytes again today and again on Saturday, encouraging them to remain in place until then.

Security is tight outside Government House, with an estimated phalanx of 6,000 soldiers and 3,200 police. Up to now, there has been no violence and PM Abhisit thinks it unlikely that any will break out. There have been isolated incidents of projectile throwing at various government cars in the past few weeks, however. Abhisit who has already attended parliament, today, says he is likely to enter Government House later, but his deputy, Suthep Thaugsuvan, stressed that they did not wish to be provocative or to cause damage. In defiance of the calls of the protestors, colloquially termed the mob, for the prime minister to resign, PM Abhisit declared “Whether I resign or do not resign from my position will be determined in accordance with normal political processes.”

 

The Red Shirts are using similar tactics to those employed by their rival Yellow Shirts, who successfully disrupted Bangkok?s two airports and were partially instrumental in pressurising the courts to dissolve the previous, pro-Thaksin government in December, though they are apparently stopping short of breaking into the compound as their adversaries did. However, so far there is still a carnival atmosphere with singing and dancing in the streets, although they did employ two yellow construction cranes to remove sand-filled cargo containers that police had used to block their passage, and dump them in a canal close by, much to the amusement of the crowd.

Despite the ongoing protests, however, PM Abhisit has stated that his three-month-old government will triumph, as the majority of the populace is eager to see a return to the status quo ante, before the disruptions of either of the shirted mobs.

 

 

 

 

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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