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Pattaya Daily News

09 January 2009 :: 00:01:00 am 39529

Protesters Picket Foreign Ministry, Demand Government’s Resignation

BANGKOK, Jan 8- Anti-government protesters Thursday rallied at the Thai Foreign Affairs Ministry on Thursday and demanded that the government postpone the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit, dissolve the House of Representatives and call a new election.
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Director-General of the Foreign Ministry’s Information Department, Tharit Charungvat, said the red-shirted United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) protesters gathered outside the ministry building and demanded that Foreign Affairs Minister Kasit Piromya resign from his post and that the ASEAN summit be postponed.

At about 3 pm, a group of the protesters entered the building and submitted a letter to an official demanding that the ASEAN summit be postponed until a newly-elected government is installed.

They later dispersed but promised they would return next week to follow-up their petition.

In an attempt to avoid chaos to be caused by UDD members, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Wednesday that the venue of the ASEAN summit would be changed to the resort town of Hua Hin instead of Bangkok with the dates to remain unchanged from between February 27-March 1.

However, the meeting among ASEAN leaders with the group’s dialogue partners –China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand — is expected to be held in late April with the meeting venue was yet to be decided, Mr. Abhisit said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said the reason of choosing Hua Hin as the venue for ASEAN summit because security could be easily provided in case the UDD protesters move to the resort town to launch a rally there.

Stressing that the government is not worried about a closure of Hua Hin airport by the protesters, Mr. Suthep said UDD members could hold a demonstration but they must not hurt people or damage property. (TNA)______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Jan 8 – Thailand’s police chief Pol. Gen. Patcharawat Wongsuwan is to consider whether to strip the police rank held by former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra who was convicted on a conflict of interest charge, a senior police officer said Thursday.

Pol. Maj-Gen. Panya Aengchuan, commander of the police department’s disciplinary division, said a proposal to strip Mr. Thaksin of his police rank of lieutenant-colonel would be sent to National Police Commissioner Pol. Gen. Patcharawat for his consideration.

Noting that a court had already judged and imposed a two-year imprisonment on the ousted premier minister, Gen. Panya said Mr. Thaksin is found to be in breach of police regulations, which stipulates that a police officer’s rank must be stripped if the person is convicted and escapes to avoid imprisonment.

On October 21, the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions found former police officer Thaksin guilty of a conflict of interest and sentenced him in absentia to two years in jail.

Ousted in a bloodless coup in September 2006, he is now living in self-imposed exile in an unknown location. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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