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Pattaya Daily News

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21 May 2010 :: 03:05:56 am 21197

Three More Key Red Shirt Leaders Surrender to Police

Veera Musikapong, UDD chairman, Dr Weng Tojirakarn and Korkaew Pikulthong surrendered to police at the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) on charges of violating the Emergency Decree but denied terrorism charges.
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 BANGKOK, May 20, (TNA) – Three more top leaders of the anti-government ‘Red Shirt’ United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) on Thursday turned themselves in to police in Bangkok, a day after five other UDD leaders surrendered to police as soldiers were closing in on their rally site.

The delayed surrender of the three protest leaders came as fellow Red Shirt leaders Natthawut Saikua, Jatuporn Prompan, Nisit Sithuprai and Wiphuthalang Pattanaphuthai on Wednesday  surrendered to police and announced the end of the more than a month-long protest at Ratchaprasong area following clashes between security forces and Red Shirts during the army operation to retake the rally site.

Arisman Pongruangrong, Weng Tojirakarn and Suporn Attawong however were not seen at Ratchaprasong on Wednesday, amid rumours they had already escaped as troops approached the capital’s prime commercial area.

Mr Arisman was reportedly seen getting in a white Toyota Yaris and then took a motorcycle to flee from police. Mr Arisman and Mr Suporn remain at large.

Mr Veera disappeared from the Red Shirt stage many days before army operation began following rumours about a rift among Red Shirt leaders.

Reportedly Mr Veera wanted a peaceful solution to the country’s political crisis through negotiation with the government and participation in the road map for national reconciliation, but other hardliner leaders disagreed.

Mr Veera told a news conference after his surrender to police that the red shirt protesters are harmless and he was saddened by what had happened, while urging the protesters to adhere to peaceful approaches.

The incident was caused by anger and disappointment, he said, urging all parties to understand and stop venting anger and hatred at each other as democracy could not be built upon anger and prejudice.

“The fight continues, but must be peaceful and non-violent. I wish peace restored and I have attempted to negotiate,” said Mr Veera.  “In principle, we achieved a conclusion, but the issues remain unclear in some details. I must admit to this mistake, but I want to save lives for democracy.”

CIB commander Pol Lt-Gen Thangai Prasjaksattruthe said surrendered leaders will be sent to Naresuan military camp in Petchaburi’s Cha-am district for further separate investigation amid tight security. The first batch of Red Shirt leaders have also been detained there.

A group of red shirt protesters turned up at CIB headquarters to give moral support for Mr Veera and wept as their leader was taken in custody to Cha-am. (TNA)

Category : Politics News

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