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25 November 2009 :: 11:11:30 am 31292

Thaksin to Red Shirts: “Postpone Rally, It’s Not Right Time”

BANGKOK, Nov 25 (TNA) - Fugitive ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra on Tuesday urged his supporters in Thailand to urge the key "Red Shirt" leaders of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) to postpone the group's demonstration this weekend, saying that it is an inappropriate time, being close to His Majesty the King's birthday.
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Mr Thaksin commented as he addressed a meeting of the opposition Puea Thai members of parliament via video link, according to Puea Thai MP Surapong Tovichakchaikul.

The ousted premier reasoned that the public disagreed with the timing of the upcoming UDD protest as it is not appropriate, Mr Surapong explained, so he urged the Red Shirt leaders to review their plan as a number of Puea Thai MPs also disagreed with the idea.

Red Shirt leaders earlier announced that they will stage a major protest in many areas of Bangkok to topple the Abhisit Vejjajiva administration starting this Saturday and continuing through December 2, with a plan to resume after the king?s birthday.

Mr Thaksin also urged the MPs to prepare for the general election, saying he is confident it will be held in the first half of next year, according to Mr Surapong.

The ex-prime minister said he will leave Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, to travel to many places beginning Saturday and will be near Thailand during the New Year.

The Abhisit government earlier advised the UDD to postpone its rally as the main site is used to rehearse the annual Trooping of the Colours of the Royal Guard and preparations for activities to mark the birthday of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej during the protest period.

The Cabinet on Tuesday resolved to invoke Internal Security Act (ISA) in the Thai capital from November 28 to December 14 to maintain law and order during the UDD protest as the anti-government group planned to march to many important spots.

Meanwhile, key UDD leader Jatuporn Prompan said that it is not surprising that the government enforced the ISA, but he did not expect that the ISA timeframe would be as long as announced.

Mr Jatuporn said it is not appropriate that the Thai people celebrate the king’s birthday (December 5) under a security clampdown. He said the government should apply the act only from November 28 to December 2, the group’s announced protesting period.

“The UDD leaders will meet Wednesday to consider whether to continue the rally,” Mr Jatuporn said, “The outcome of the meeting could be both to continue or postpone the protest.” (TNA)

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Deputy PM asks Red Shirts to postpone Bangkok rally
BANGKOK, Nov 23 (TNA)  National security officials meeting in the Thai capital on Monday called the anti-government United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) to postpone its planned rally this weekend as the venue is being prepared for upcoming activities to celebrate His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s birthday on December 5.
Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, who oversees national security, convened a meeting of national security agencies at the Royal Thai Army headquarters Monday to evaluate the situation and determine responses to any violence.

Mr Suthep said that the participants agreed to urge the UDD leadership to postpone the group’s rallies during this period.

The deputy premier reasoned that the government is preparing activities to mark the birthday of His Majesty from December 2 through 13, starting from the Royal Plaza, Rajdamnern Avenue to Sanam Luang.

He said it will take three to four days in advance for the preparations, which coincides with the Red Shirt gathering.

Key UDD leaders earlier announced their intention to stage a mass rally in Bangkok to oust the government of Abhisit Vejjajiva starting from this Saturday through December 2.

“It is not an appropriate time and it will be good if there is no protest during the period,” said the deputy premier.Mr Suthep said that rehearsals for the annual Trooping of the Colours of the Royal Guard will be held at the UDD?s planned rally site, which could affect the Red Shirt gathering and cause traffic congestion.

“I want to ask the people to avoid gathering during this period, as I want the situation to be peaceful for certain period in order to pay homage to the king,” said Mr Suthep.

However, if the UDD leaders insist to stage the protest, Mr Suthep said, he will propose the Cabinet on Tuesday in its weekly meeting to consider the enforcement of the Internal Security Act (ISA) in Dusit district of Bangkok to maintain law and order.

Mr Suthep said the ISA will allow combined police and other security units to maintain order from November28-December 14 in Dusit?s Royal Plaza, Government House and Rajdamnern Avenue are situated, the rally venues of the Red Shirt protesters.

If the United Front agrees to postpone their rally, the security agencies will keep evaluating the situations in order to consider lifting the ISA, said Mr Suthep, but if there is violence, the ISA will be extended.

The deputy prime minister also expressed concern over the protest, instructing security personnel to be patient as it is reportedly that the protesters planned incite violence. He, however, emphasised that the government will not allow the protesters to block roads and to cause unrest as during the April chaos.

Regarding news reports that migrant workers will be mobilised to join the UDD rally this weekend, the deputy premier said he has instructed Ministry of Interior and provincial governors to inform business owners that they should tell their migrant workers they do not have right to become involved in Thai internal affairs.

He said those who violate the Thai law will be arrested, saying that if the owners allow their workers to join the rally, the owners will face legal action.

Asked whether the ISA will be imposed in Chiang Mai, hometown and political stronghold of former prime minister Thaksin during Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva?s trip this weekend, Mr Suthep said he will monitor the situation and may make a final decision Monday night.The deputy premier vowed that security personnel will provide maximum safety for the prime minister.

Meanwhile, acting government spokesman Dr Panitan Wattanayagorn said the premier has confirmed to visit Chiang Mai this month despite a threat against his life from the local anti-government movement during the planned visit.

“People in several northern provinces want peace and a favourable atmosphere for investment and tourism during the high season,” he said.


Demonstrators can protest peacefully within their rights, but some people might want to take advantage of the situation to create violence, Dr Panitan said.
Speaking about the possibility of the enforcement of the Internal Security Act in Chiang Mai during the prime minister?s visit and in the capital during the UDD rally, Dr Panitan said the Cabinet will consider it Tuesday after being briefed by security officials. (TNA)
 

 

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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