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Pattaya Daily News

14 April 2009 :: 23:04:18 pm 27411

Thailand Issues The Former Prime Minister, Thaksin Warrant

A Bangkok court has issued arrest warrants for Thaksin Shinawatra, the exiled former prime minister, and 13 of his supporters after violent demonstrations that left two people dead and scores injured.
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 The anti-government “Red Shirts” called off their protests earlier on Tuesday as the military tightened its grip on the city.

Thaksin was ousted as prime minister during a bloodless coup in 2006 and was convicted in absentia of violating a conflict of interest law.

He has addressed the crowd of protesters via video nearly every evening since the latest round of protests began on March 26.

“Thaksin and his allies were charged by the court for illegal assembly of more than 10 people, threatening acts of violence and breach of the peace, punishable with five years in jail,” the warrant said.

It said he was also accused of inciting people to break the law and cause unrest, a charge punishable by seven years in prison.

Positions abandoned

Early on Tuesday around 2,000 protesters who have camped out around Government House for more than two weeks had been encircled by soldiers, raising fears of a repeat of Monday’s bloody clashes.

But after a meeting of representatives of both sides, protest leaders called on the demonstrators to abandon their positions and they began to move away with their arms raised.

As the protesters began to file away, a protest organiser said they were not giving up their fight to force the Abhisit Vehjjajiva, the prime minister, from power.

“There is no loss we’re taking a step back in order to go forward,” Suporn Atthawong said. “We’ll be back at a later date. “We have decided to call off the rally today because many brothers and sisters have been hurt and killed. We don’t want everybody to suffer the same. And we will not allow more deaths.” At least two people were reported killed overnight, apparently in clashes with pro-government supporters. More than 120 people are reported to have been injured. Cover-up accusations Thaksin has accused the military of covering up the number of people killed in the day’s battles. In an interview with Al Jazeera, he accused the military of firing at protesters and covering up killings by taking dead bodies away.
The allegation was repeated by one protester who said that she had seen bodies being piled into trucks near the Ding Daeng intersection ? scene of Monday’s fiercest clashes. Abhisit said the military had used “soft means” in handling the protests and welcomed the decision to halt the demonstrations. “I don’t consider this a victory or defeat but it’s a victory for peace in society,” he said in a televised speech. “The operation under the state of emergency is not over. There are still things to do. I insist the government will not be negligent because we have to remain vigilant.”



Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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