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Pattaya Daily News

06 June 2009 :: 11:06:04 am 27168

Thaksin supporters launch tabloid newspaper

BANGKOK, June 5 Supporters of ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra or the so-called red shirt group launched the first edition of a tabloid newspaper tagged "The Red News" on Friday.
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The newspaper was published just less than two months after red-clad protesters stormed a summit of Asian leaders in the eastern seaside resort of Pattaya, forcing the meeting to be cancelled. The protestors then fought street battles with security forces in the capital.

PM’s Office Minister Sathit Wongnongtoey said the government was concerned about the launch of the newspaper which hit newsstands on Friday.

Thailand’s tourism, trade and foreign investment remain affected by the unruly protest in Pattaya led by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), and forcing the cancellation of the ASEAN summit. Ensuing riots which paralysed many parts of Bangkok, prompted the government to declare a state of emergency during the Thai New Year holiday, he said.

Print media should realise their social responsibility rather than serving as a tool (of any side) that can lead to more violent conflict, Mr. Sathit said.

The government will closely monitor the content of the Red News, because the April violence was a lesson that (the government) must guard against any recurrence.

The first edition of the Red News featured an exclusive interview with UDD core leader Jakrapob Penkair, a former minister to the Prime Minister’s Office during Thaksin’s administration.

Jakrapob remains at large after an arrest warrant was issued for him along with other UDD leaders following their leading role in the anti-government violence and street protests in the capital during the Thai New Year holiday in April.

In an exclusive interview with the paper, Jakrapob defended his flight, saying the military crackdown prompted him to flee only to further direct the red-clad fight for their common course in a ‘safe zone’.

In the interview he talks about his 35-hour escape through military checkpoints before reaching a safe haven. He said he was not far away from home where he could keep abreast of the news in Thailand, but refused to disclose his whereabouts. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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