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Pattaya Daily News

19 April 2009 :: 15:04:14 pm 38236

Pm: Government Will Listen To Charges That Protesters Were Killed By Military Weapons

BANGKOK, April 19 -- Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Sunday that his government would listen to charges that protesters or innocent residents died from military weaponry, meaning gunfire from government forces, during the operation to disperse anti-government protesters on April 13.
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Speaking during his weekly television address, Mr. Abhisit insisted that the authorities would be lenient to protesters from the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) and that no one was killed or wounded by military weapons during the operation.

However, if there is a solid proof that military weapons were used on that day, the government is ready to consider the charges.

Monday’s violent clashes left two residents shot and killed by the protesters while a combined casualty toll of 123 persons wounded or otherwise injured among both government security forces and protesters.

The main opposition Puea Thai Party is expected to grill the government during a joint session of Parliament in the middle of this week, charging that that several protesters were shot dead by government forces and their bodies carried away during the confrontation. The party claims it has evidence to back the charges.

Mr. Abhisit said his government would offer rehabilitation measures to those who were affected from the clashes.

The Cabinet on Tuesday will discuss providing additional measures intended to boost tourism which has now become a national agenda priority, he said.

Several foreign governments have issued warnings to their citizens to avoid travel to Thailand due to security concerns. Last Sunday a state of emergency was imposed by Mr. Abhisit in Bangkok and five neighbouring provinces and remains in effect.

Tourism operators understand the government fully well that it wants to see a sustainable peace in the country, he said.

Mr. Abhisit said the state of emergency would continue for a period and it is still necessary following an attack on a core leader of People?s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), his driver and close aide early Friday.

The three are being treated at a government hospital in Bangkok, and the gunmen are still at large.

Mr. Abhisit urged PAD supporters to remain calm while the authorities try to conclude their investigation as soon as possible. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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