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Pattaya Daily News

05 October 2010 :: 16:10:07 pm 42484

Street Vendor Arrested Selling Anti Abhisit-Suthep Sandals

A street vendor marketing sandals emblazoned with images of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban has been arrested by Ayutthaya police on Sunday, according to Thai media reports.
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Ayutthaya, the 4th of October 2010: Major General Jaruwat Waisaya (Ayutthaya Police Commissioner) revealed the arrest of Ms. Amornwan Jarurnkit [41] at a Red Shirt gathering in the central Thai city of Ayutthaya.

According to reports, officers patrolling a Red Shirt gathering in the city had arrested Ms. Jarurnkit after she was observed selling sandals at the event with images of both the premier and his deputy emblazoned on the footwear. The images were captioned with the words “people died at Ratchaprasong”.

The officers allegedly purchase a pair of the sandals, which were being marketed at Bt100 baht for four pairs, before arresting Ms. Jarurnkit and confiscating some 300 pairs of the footwear (Bt7,500 worth). After interrogating her for almost 12 hours officers charged her with producing illegal publication (merchandise) which created fear and misunderstanding in the public.

Ms. Jarurnkit has denied the charge, while she was subsequently bailed out of police custody (Bt30,000) by Ayutthaya MP Surachet Chaikosol (Peau Thai Party), who was the coordinator of the Red Shirt gathering over the weekend.

MP Chaikosol has since voiced his opinion that the arrest was unfounded and represented the governments ongoing attempts to stifle opposition to there illegitimate hold on power. He explained that items of this nature (sandals, shirts, flags) had been sold throughout the country over the last few years, with no other arrests or incidents reported.

Ms. Jarurnkit revealed that she had been a frequent attendee and avid supporter at all Red Shirt gatherings, travelling around the country to sell such pro-Red merchandise as a way of funding her ability to fight for democracy in Thailand.

On the 5th of October (Tuesday), Ms. Jarurnkit is due to meet “Red Sunday” campaign leader Mr. Sombut Boon Ngahm Anong regarding her case, while she herself insists that she will continue to sell her Red Shirt merchandise despite this setback. Voicing her anger she stated, “In America, a lot of people are wearing sandals with Barak Obama’s face! What is the matter with this country?”

Ms. Jarurnkit is now reportedly facing a two-year prison sentence, Bt40,000 fine or both as punishment for the charge being held against her. According to Thai media, the arrest and subsequent charge has already been relayed to premier Abhisit and deputy premier Suthep, who have yet to make a comment on the incident.

Meanwhile, Mr. Boon Ngahm Anong revealed, in a statement to the press on Monday, that the arrest of Ms. Jarurnkit represented the government’s double standards. He referenced the rampant sale and distribution of anti-Thaksin merchandise without hindrance prior to his deposition as his reasoning behind the allegation.

In closing his press release, Mr. Boon Ngahm Anong revealed that the Red Sunday group and its supporters were planning a commemorative rally for Sunday the 10th of October. The rally will be aimed at remembering those that lost their lives 6 months ago in the violent May 10th clashes with government-backed security forces in Bangkok.

He further stated that no government-owned or run media publications had been approached about the event and that the news would inevitably be spread around the globe via the international media and internet.

Reporter : Warina Punyawan   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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