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Pattaya Daily News

19 February 2010 :: 15:02:38 pm 13628

Thailand’s Deputy PM Urges Calm Ahead of Bangkok CBD Rally

Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban on Friday reasserted that the planned rally of anti-government Red Shirt protesters at Bangkok Bank headquarters in Bangkok's Silom Road commercial district will not affect the Thai stock market, as he has already clarified the current political situation to foreign investors and brokers.
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Bangkok, the 19th of February 2010 [TNA]: The deputy premier made comments hours ahead of the planned rally led by key leaders of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) Friday afternoon. Thai stock index opened on Friday at 695.79, up 0.13 points.

The UDD leaders earlier announced they would disclose information claiming that Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda unfairly favoured a group of businesspersons investing in a golf resort in the eastern province of Chanthaburi.

Some 550 police officers have been deployed to maintain order, and police and bomb squad units will inspect the rally venue before the protest begins to prevent any untoward incident. Metropolitan police spokesman Maj-Gen Piya Uthayo earlier warned that protesters violating the law will be arrested.

The Bangkok Bank headquarters however on Friday opened one hour earlier than normal, starting from 7.30am to 3.30pm to facilitate bank clients, while bank employees were advised not to wear their bank uniforms. Clients were also asked to use other branches’ services instead, while the public was advised to avoid Silom Road to avoid traffic congestion during the rally. The Saint Joseph Convent School which located on Silom Road was also ordered to close Friday for the safety of its students.

The Red Shirts earlier announced rallies against the government throughout the month ahead of February 26, the date which the Supreme Court’s Criminal  Division for Holders of Political Positions will rule whether or not to seize the Bt76 billion frozen assets of convicted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Following the heating political temperature in the kingdom in which an explosion occurred last weekend near Government House and an explosive device was detected near the Supreme Court, the British Embassy in Bangkok issued a travel warning for its citizens in Thailand.

“As the political situation in Thailand is tense and uncertain, British citizens should exercise great caution throughout Thailand and avoid demonstrations or large gatherings of people that might turn violent,” the statement said. It also advised the British citizens to stay indoors, monitoring the media and the embassy’s website if the anti-government protest turns violent.

“There is a high threat from terrorism in Thailand.  Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. There were a number of bomb explosions in Bangkok in 2007,” said the statement.

The Australian Embassy in Bangkok advised its citizens to exercise a high degree of caution, citing “the high threat of terrorist attack and political instability in Thailand.” The warning urged its citizens to closely monitor developments and follow any instructions issued by local authorities as demonstrations can develop quickly and turn violent with little warning.

Thai police on Friday arrested a 35-year-old man identified as Parin Khunkongsatien at the checkpoint in front of the Supreme Court after 30 cartridges and a gun were found hidden in his pickup truck. Mr Parin claimed that his possession of firearms was for self-protection.  He was later brought in for police investigation. (TNA)

Reporter : Methawee   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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