Pattaya Daily News

20 April 2010 :: 12:04:46 pm 18508

UDD Continue Protests Amidst Increased Military Presence

Following the Thai governments deployment of further military personnel in Bangkok, key ‘Red Shirt’ United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) leaders have announced that they will reignite their demonstrations in the capital on Tuesday with further rallies expected in the city’s central business district.
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Bangkok, the 20th of April 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Thailand’s Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva appeared on state-owned television networks on Monday night professing that he has not become discouraged by the continued Red Shirt protests and their refusal to disband from key business districts in the capital. Mr. Abhisit revealed his determination to continue applying pressure on the UDD to disband from their damaging protests, whilst still maintaining that force will not be used against the largely peaceful demonstrators. The Prime Minster was reluctant however to give a date as to when ‘normalcy’ will be returned to the capital.

Amidst reports that the Army had increased their presence along Bangkok’s Silom Road (one of several main business districts in the capital) key Red Shirt leader Natthawut Saikua revealed that rallies would continue as planned on Tuesday, although no specific locations were announced. It was expected that the UDD would descend on Silom Road after various reports surfaced on Monday that they would continue their push on key business locations in Bangkok in order to force an immediate dissolution of the Thai government.

In regards to the increase in military personnel being deployed along Silom Road, in which a large gathering of Red Shirts were sent to confront them, Mr. Saikua stated; “If the reinforcement [process] continues with too many soldiers being deployed…Silom Road will eventually become a battlefield. [Our] photos show armed troops in a ready-to-fire position, therefore [the UDD] demands that the military reconsider the move, or the Reds otherwise might find it necessary to push the soldiers back to their barracks with their bare hands.” These developments come after Red Shirt leaders revealed that they had received prior notice of the military movements from sympathetic officers within the army’s ranks who leaked classified military documents to the UDD.

Meanwhile, an Economic Cabinet meeting was convened on Monday in which the Prime Minister along with key economic and financial advisors and minsters discussed the impact that the Red Shirts rallies were having on the countries economy. The continued demonstrations at the Ratchaprasong intersection have forced several upmarket shopping centers and businesses to close, whilst many employees in the respective businesses have been laid-off or suspended whilst the protests continue. Government assistance programs were discussed at the meeting whilst the Thai Chamber of Commerce reported that the damages to the Thai economy could reach up to Bt70 billion baht if the disturbance continues over the next two months.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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