Pattaya Daily News

07 April 2009 :: 14:04:25 pm 27835

UDD Red Shirts Block Entrance to Pattaya Cabinet Venue

PATTAYA, April 7 - Red-shirted anti-government demonstrators blocked access to a top hotel in this seaside beach resort where Thailand's weekly Cabinet meeting is being held on Tuesday, launching verbal attacks against the nearly four-month old government.
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Hundreds of shields-equipped police have been deployed around the Royal Cliff Beach Hotel to ensure security.

Carrying the ongoing political protest into the heart of the kingdom’s tourist industry, the protesters reasserted the seriousness of their challege to the government.

Chonburi governor Suraphol Pongpitakgul urged the protesters to remain peaceful and not break into the hotel premises.

Protesters assaulted the government with truck-mounted loudspeakers, demanding that the prime minister and foreign minister resign.

Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda, whom the pro-Thaksin protesters accuse of being behind the 2006 coup ousting prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was also a prime target.

The hotel is also the venue of this weekend’s three-day summit between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its dialogue partners from other regions including China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand starting on Friday.

Thailand currently holds the chairmanship of ASEAN under a rotating system.

ASEAN’s 10 members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (TNA)

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Security tightened on eve of Red Shirts’ mass rally

BANGKOK, April 7  The metropolitan police chief in the Thai capital said on Tuesday that police were on highest alert, having prepared maximum security precautions to ensure law and order ahead of the mass rally of Red Shirt anti-government protesters– whose organisers claim they are mounting Thailand’s largest-ever political event, intending to topple the Democrat-led government.

Police Lt-Gen. Vorapong Chiewpreecha said 23 companies of police would be deployed to maintain security, but the deployment will be adjusted to cope with a large number of protesters expected to join the rally from the route in front of Government House to the Si Sao Theves residence of Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda.

The general said the combined routes haves the capacity of 86,000 marchers.

The metropolitan police chief gave assurances that the demonstration would not be disrupted, and would take place as planned, but intelligence reports indicate that low-intensity explosions, giant fireworks and even arson might be used to create disturbances during the demonstration.

Police were on highest alert to handle the situation, Gen. Vorapong said, adding that military reinforcements would be requested to help police if they lose control of the situation.

Convicted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra last week urged his supporters led by the ‘Red Shirts’, the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) to come out in full force on Wednesday.

Promoting for many days April 8 in the capital and in provincial halls nationwide, he has asked the public to repeat “the people’s revolution” and continues calling for a historic change to true democracy in Thailand.

The former premier spoke in a video link address from an undisclosed location lashing out at Privy Council President Prem of having engineered the 2006 coup ousting him from power.

Thousands of red-clad demonstrators have rallied outside Government House, the government seat in Bangkok since March 26, demanding Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva step down, and calling for fresh elections. (TNA)

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Former coup-makers offer Bt1 million bounty for Thaksin arrest

BANGKOK, April 6 (TNA) — Charging that convicted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in collaboration with anti-government protesters have allegedly slandered Thailand’s royal institution on several occasions, a group of 20 former army officers, senators and businessmen on Monday set Bt1 million as bounty for his arrest.

General Somjate Boonthanom, former head of the Council for National Security’s (CNS) Secretary-General’s Office, urged the Thai people to join hands in solving the country’s political unrest and charged that Mr. Thaksin is the root cause of the problem.

Senior military officers of the long defunct CNS staged a bloodless coup on Sept 19, 2006 and toppled the then government of Mr. Thaksin.

Gen. Somjate said the bounty is offered by the group of business leaders to anyone who could bring Mr. Thaksin to Thailand to face his two-year prison sentence on corruption charges. He said current political turmoil could end if Mr. Thaksin is brought back and faces prosecution.

The group also issued its first statement charging that Mr. Thaksin and his Red Shirt supporters from the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) had slandered the royal institution both openly and secretly since he was forced from power.

Meanwhile, a lawyer acting on behalf of Mr. Thaksin filed a defamation complaint against Privy Councillor Gen. Pichitr Kullavanijaya at a Bangkok police station concerning his interview with the media that Mr. Thaksin did not respect the royal institution, wanted to disband the institution and that he had also deposited a large sum of money on the Caymans, known as a haven for money launderers.

Gen. Pichitr made his criticisms last Friday. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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