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Pattaya Daily News

21 January 2010 :: 09:01:30 am 9490

Red Shirts Pledge Not to Seize Suvarnabhumi Airport

Thailand's anti-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) on Wednesday gave assurances that the group had no plan to seize the country's main airport, but that the issue has been raised by the group in an attempt to show that the government has applied a double-standard to similar cases involving so-called Red Shirt and Yellow Shirt activists.
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Bangkok, the 20th of January 2010 [TNA]: The UDD Red Shirts announced on Tuesday they will rally at the airport entrance to press for legal action against their major rival the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), the Yellow Shirts, which seized the airport in late 2008 to topple the Somchai Wongsawat administration.

Following the Red Shirt announcement, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban on Wednesday said he would not allow the anti-government protesters to close Suvarnabhumi Airport, but nonetheless ruled out enforcement of the Internal Security Act (ISA).

UDD leader Nattawut Saikua brushed aside the concerns, saying the planned airport rally has been discussed among Red Shirt key leaders as legal action has yet been taken against those who seized the airport last year.

Mr Nattawut said if there is any other means which will be more effective, he is willing to follow the resolution of the Red Shirt leadership.

“To seize the airport is totally wrong. The Red Shirts will definitely not do such a thing,” Mr Nattawut said. “The problem is that one year has passed, but the persons who seized the airport not only have yet been prosecuted but also set up their own political party.”

“What we really want is to have the government execute the law in a fair manner to all,” he said.

The Red Shirt key leader also challenged the authorities to arrest him if his action violates the law.

In a related development, Red Shirt leaders Veera Musikapong, Jatuporn Prompan, Weng Tojirakarn, Suporn Attawong, and Nattawut on Wednesday afternoon submitted a letter to the Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary via Legal Affairs Division director Thakorn Thamprateep asking for a progress report on the UDD petition seeking royal pardon for fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra submitted to the office last August.

Mr Veera said that it has been five months after the UDD submitted the petition which had been signed by 3.5 million Thai people, but it has not reached His Majesty the King.

The Red Shirt leader claimed that the government’s verification process of the petition has dragged on too long. So far only 1.2 million names have been verified. The Corrections Department also forwarded the Red Shirt petition to the Council of State for consideration, the action in which he said, could further delay the case until it is expired.

On Tuesday, the Red Shirts also submitted a letter to the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), demanding it take legal action against the prime minister and the Ministry of Justice for negligence of duty in a delay in submitting the petition to His Majesty the King.

Toppled in a bloodless 2006 coup d’etat, Mr Thaksin was sentenced in absentia for his role in a conflict of interest regarding the controversial Ratchadapisek land deal. He now lives in exile, mostly in the United Arab Emirates. (TNA)

Category : Politics News

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