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Pattaya Daily News

23 July 2010 :: 11:07:27 am 32691

PAD & UDD Agree to Drop Individual Defamation Cases

Key leaders in Thailand’s rival political movements, the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) and the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), met on Thursday in mediation with the Thai Criminal Court. The two opposition party’s cordially agreed to drop their individual defamation suits against each other.
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Bangkok, the 22nd of July 2010: Leaders from both the PAD and UDD, Thailand’s two main political factions, on Thursday held a 7-hour mediation with the deputy director-general of Criminal Court judges Krerkrit Ittarat. Following the meeting, it was announced that both parties had decided to withdraw their defamation suits against each other in an attempt at further reconciliation and acceptance.

Red Shirt (UDD) leaders Veera Musikapong, Natthawut Saikua, Jatuporn Prompan and Korkaew Pikulthong had earlier filed six defamation lawsuits against the opposition Yellow Shirt (PAD) leader Sondhi Limthongkul and his online media company Thaiday.com. The suits pertained to various defamatory acts, which were reported by Mr. Limthongkul and/or his company in relations to the UDD or its leaders.

Mr. Limthongkul had consequently filed two defamation cases against the UDD leaders himself. Considered somewhat of a media mogul in Thailand, Mr. Limthongkul has been accused of using his publications to promote the yellow shirt agenda with noticeable bias in any reporting of the two party’s interactions.

Appearing at the mediation meeting in prison attire, due to their detention on terrorism related charges, Mr. Veera, Mr. Korkaew and Mr. Natthawut met with Mr. Limthongkul’s lawyer, Suwat Apaipakdi. After nearly 7-hours of discussions, both sides agreed to drop ongoing defamation suits, pertaining to eight separate cases. The Criminal Court deputy director-general revealed the moves to be a positive step in reconciling the two politically motivated groups to be more understanding of each other’s individual issues.

The Red Shirts are the group responsible for the recent 10-week long political protests in the heart of Bangkok’s CBD, which ended when military personnel stormed their encampment in Ratchaprasong on the 19th of May. The protests and resultant actions of the security forces led to the death of 89 people whilst a further 1900 were injured.

The Yellow shirts, led by Mr. Sondhi were the major influence behind the 2006 coup d’etat which ended with the ousting of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who is now in self imposed exile from the Kingdom. In doing so the PAD organised several mass street protests and the complete seizure of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Consequently, the Yellow Shirts also succeeded in toppling two further governments, which they have since claimed were proxies of Thaksin.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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