Pattaya Daily News

20 January 2010 :: 09:01:44 am 9279

Red Shirts: Suvarnabhumi Airport Protest Considered

The Red Shirt anti-government United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) announced Tuesday it is considering a protest at the entrance of Suvarnabhumi Airport as part of its movement against the government.
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Bangkok, the 19th of January 2010 [TNA]: Thepthai Senpong, spokesman for Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, said there is a high possibility of violence during the 10-day Red Shirt movement between February 16-26. The planned protest at Suvarnabhumi Airport must be closely monitored, he said. The UDD said it will gather at the airport to hasten legal action against its major rival the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) which seized the airport in late 2008.

The Thai stock index fell 10.43 points or 1.39 per cent to close at 736.48 as investors concern over the planned mass protest at the country’s main airport. Some international investors unloaded their portfolios, according to analysts. The Red Shirts also submitted a letter to the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to 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. The Red Shirts submitted the petition to His Majesty the King asking for a royal pardon for ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, sentenced in absentia for his role in a conflict of interest case that he says is politically motivated.

DSI director-general Tharit Pengdit said a team of investigators will be set up to inspect the case, assuring the DSI will work transparently. Meanwhile, in Chanthaburi, a district chief met head of the Khao Soi Dao wildlife sanctuary to be prepared for a planned protest by the UDD this weekend. Some 400 police officers will be deployed to maintain order, the DSI indicated. A portion of Highway 317 may be closed if a large number of protesters turns up. The Red Shirts accused Privy Council president Gen Prem Tinsulanonda of owning a stake in a golf course and encroaching on the forest reserve in Khao Soi Dao. Meanwhile, newly-formed New Politics Party (NPSP) leader Sondhi Limthongkul, also a staunch rival of the Red Shirts, announced that his party is ready to form a government to end the “old politics”, filled with corruption, pledging to be the best government Thailand has ever had.

The key leader of the so-called ‘Yellow Shirt’ People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), elected unopposed as leader of NPSP, commented as his party opened its headquarters in Bangkok. The opening ceremony was attended by the former coup leader Gen Sondhi Boonyaratglin, former chairman of Council for National Security (CNS) and leader of Matubhum Party, Government chief whip Witthaya Kaewparadai and Science and Technology Minister Khunying Kalaya Sophonpanich. Mr Sondhi announced his political will that the PAD decided to form the NPSP because governments after the September 19 coup were successors of the convicted ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra. He said the current Democrat-led coalition government also faced problems in running the country. The NPSP therefore was established to fight by all means for democracy in the name of the PAD.

Mr Sondhi said Mr Thaksin controlled everything during his administration, while corruption is rampant in the incumbent government, although Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is viewed as ‘a good guy’. “The anti-government Red Shirt protesters are not the problem, but Mr Thaksin really is,” said Mr Sondhi. “Mr Thaksin is exploiting his supporters and there’s a possibility that the fugitive ex-premier will eventually abandon them.” When asked whether the NPSP will join the Democrat-led coalition government, Mr Sondhi said that if the government is still running the country with old-style politics, the NPSP will not be a part of the coalition government, but will act as corruption watchdog. “If we command a majority to form a government,” asserted Mr Sondhi. “We believe that we will be the best government ever in Thailand.”

Regarding rumours swirling regarding his recent disappearance from Thailand, Mr Sondhi said he has been to China for medical treatment after suffering a herniated disc. Mr Sondhi, one of a ‘core group’ of the key Yellow Shirt leaders and a staunch opponent of Mr Thaksin, played a key role in the marathon protest ushering in the downfall of the Thaksin administration and two successive governments – those of Somchai Wongsawat and Samak Sundaravej. Media mogul-turned-politician Sondhi survived a shooting attempt on April 17. He also must fight a series of libel cases in court. Blaming what they called Thailand’s ‘old-style’ politics in a corruption-ridden society, the yellow-shirted protesters in June last year launched what they called a ‘new-style’ political party with an aim to eradicate corruption. (TNA)

Reporter : Methawee   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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