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Pattaya Daily News

18 August 2009 :: 19:08:08 pm 33025

Red Shirts Threaten Mass Rally If Thaksin Pardon Petition Presentation Delayed

BANGKOK, Aug 18 (TNA) - The anti-government Red Shirt group on Tuesday threatened to mount a mass rally to oust the Democrat-led coalition government if their petition seeking a royal pardon for ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is delayed or fails to be submitted to His Majesty the King, but Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva reaffirmed that his government will not intervene in the consideration of the red shirt‘s petition.
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Representatives of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) on Monday presented 500 boxes of collected signatures and their petition seeking a royal pardon for Mr Thaksin to His Majesty the King?s Deputy Principal Private Secretary. The petition was later forwarded to the government for overview and provide a recommendation.

Key UDD leader Jatuporn Prompan said it is customary for the Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary to forward the petition to the government.

He said the government cannot delay or deter the submission of the petition to His Majesty. It can do only giving opinions and must forward the petition for His Majesty’s consideration immediately.

“If the government delays the petition submission or do anything beyond its duty,” said Mr Jatuporn, “The Red Shirts will hold a mass rally to expel the government.”

Regarding the decreased number of signatures collected in the petition, Mr Jatuporn explained that the number has reduced from nearly six million names to about 3.5 millions because names are duplicated.

He said the UDD decided to delete the duplicated names to avoid any possible problems and to show that the group’s petition is carefully carried out.

The UDD key leader added that the red shirt’s legal team is preparing to file a complaint against 29 permanent-secretaries who issued a statement opposing to the UDD petition, claiming that the statement was deemed inappropriate.

Meanwhile, the prime minister affirmed his government will not intervene or obstruct the consideration of “Red-Shirt” petition and that the case, which he has assigned Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban to take care of it, will be conducted in a fair and transparent manner.

“I have been informed by the concerned agencies that normally, it takes about 60 days to consider a petition seeking a royal pardon.”

Mr Abhisit said due to a huge number of signed names in the UDD petition, it will take more time than the normal one.

In a statement sent to media by email on Tuesday, Mr Thaksin denied he was a fugitive and a corruption charge pressed against him by his post-coup political opponents was unacceptable.

In denial of the country’s judicial system, the billionaire-turned-prime minister said the Bangkok land purchase in which he was found guilty of abusing of power had nothing to do with corruption.

Mr Thaksin, ousted in a coup in 2006, was sentenced in absentia last October by a Bangkok court to two years imprisonment for abuse of power by helping his then wife acquiring a parcel of prime Bangkok commercial property at a price far below the market value.

It?s difficult for the country to move forward as the state mechanisms bent on applying the law to destroy their political opponents, the statement said.

We need to start thinking and act seriously to create national reconciliation before it’s too late. I love Thailand and I’m ready to build harmony, Mr Thaksin said in the statement. (TNA)


Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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