Pattaya Daily News

11 April 2009 :: 14:04:41 pm 27608

State of Emergency in Pattaya as Red Shirts Force Cancellation of Asean Summit

1000's of anti government protesters have forced the cancellation of the summit of ASEAN leaders in Pattaya. They stormed the building hosting the gathering at the Royal Cliff Beach Resort demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister and the termination of the summits . A state of emergency has now been declared in Pattaya.
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Tharit Charungvat, director-general of Department of Information under the Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told reporters that the delegates are safe now. “I can assure you that the delegates are not the target. The protestor s just want to humiliate the Thai government” said Tharit.

The spokesman said that there were small clashes far away from the hotels of the delegates, and so far, there are two to three people being slightly injured. And the injured have been sent to hospitals for medical treatment.

Anti-government protestors in Thailand who had previously blocked a hotel of Chinese and South Korean delegates attending the summit between the ASEAN and China, Japan and South Korea and the East Asia Summit seemed to have retreated.

A breakfast meeting between foreign ministers of China, Japan and South Korea was been canceled because all roads leading to the Dusit Thani hotel where the Chinese delegation stayed in were blocked by the red-sirts.

Ten representatives of the “red shirt” protestors told foreign media that the Thai government should be held responsible for an earlier shooting which seriously wounded two “red shirt” protestors. Speaking at an impromptu press conference held at the media center, the representatives said two of their demonstrators sustained severe wounds after “blue shirt” protestors opened fire several times.

They claimed the “blue shirts” were actually pro-government security forces, so the government should be held accountable for the casualties. The representatives also produced some evidence they said would support their claim.

In response to the conspiracy accusation, the government denied any connection, insisting that was only the “understanding” of the “red shirts”. The government officials added they will give further briefings on any new development after government leaders and senior officials discussed the situation over lunch.

Meanwhile in Bangkok group of anti-government protesters on Saturday (April 11th) gathered at Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s residence in Bangkok, demanding him to resign. The residence, located at Sukhumvit Soi 36, was surrounded by hundreds of red-shirts.

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PDN writes:
The red-shirt protesters would argue this is payback time as many were humiliated last year when their rivals, the PAD, took over the airport and managed to cripple the process of government. They’ve now managed to get one back on this government which rode to power on the back of those events .
The prime minister has had plenty of time to prepare for this summit, having been delayed from December last year. He certainly made holding it a test of his authority and what has surprised many is how easy it was for the red-shirts, never numbering more than a few thousand, to push their way through a very strong cordon of police and military who offered almost no resistance at all when push came to shove.
This is a very important summit and the events of today are a huge humiliation for the Thai Prime Minister and his administration.

The declaration of a state of emergency will now in theory forbid the gathering of more than 5 people and other restrictions on movement. In practice it’s hard to know the consequences. States of emergency were declared several times last year and they never really worked because the security forces didn’t want to implement them. It may mean not much more than a gesture reassuring the high level ASEAN delegates that they will be able to leave safely.

This is without doubt the most damaging thing to happen to the Prime Minister in the 4 months he?s been in office, particularly given that he’s made restoring the appearance of stability and Thailand’s international reputation such a big priority. He still, however, has the command of parliament and the army behind him. The big question now is what else the red-shirted protesters can do beyond this to damage the government even further.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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