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Pattaya Daily News

25 April 2009 :: 22:04:57 pm 38103

UDD Renews Protests at Sanam Luang

BANGKOK, April 25 Once again anti-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) protesters converged on Sanam Luang in the Thai capital Saturday,but largely minus their distinctive red shirts and without a call-in from Thailand's globe-trotting ex-premier on-the-run, Thaksin Shinawatra.
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The rally was their first after the government lifted its State of Emergency Decree for Bangkok and its surrounding provinces on Friday. The protest paled in comparison to its previous attempts to gain the public eye.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Friday lifted the State of Emergency Decree he imposed amid violent UDD protests that aborted the critically-important ASEAN Summit in Pattaya on April 11, but said security forces would remain in place at key locations as a security precaution.

UDD leader Somyot Preuksakasemsuk said the Saturday rally was aimed at unblocking the signal of the group’s satellite television broadcast channel called ‘D Station’, allowing community radio supporting the group to resume broadcasting, and reinstating the 1997 Constitution.

He said that during the demonstration, the organisers will show footage from the Songkran night of April 13-14 Din Daeng demonstrations when troops dispersed violent protesters around Bangkok.

Government military personnel, using blanks and not live-ammunition, clashed with bred-shirted UDD protesters on the streets of Bangkok the day after the decree was imposed. Some 130 persons were wounded or injured, including at least 23 soldiers, in military crowd-control operations when troops moved against the protesters to force them off the streets.

The key UDD leaders — Veera Musikapong, Natthawut Saikuea and Weng Tochirakarn — turned themselves in to police and were detained from April 16 until April 24 after ending their three-week protest at Government House, following a riot which left two civilians dead, believed to be at the hands of UDD demonstrators, and more than 130 others from both government and anti-government demonstrators injured on April 13.

Bangkok’s Criminal Court on Friday temporarily released all three on Bt 500,000 bail each on condition that they not instigate any disturbance, and do not leave the country.

“The UDD will stage its protest peacefully. After the mass gathering in the capital, more rallies will be organised in big cities,” said Mr. Somyot. He said the UDD planned to rally in Udon Thani, Ratchaburi and Chiang Mai moving to the southern provinces in mid-May with demonstrations planned at Nakhon Sri Thammarat and Phattalung, before returning to Bangkok what they hope will be a mass rally to change everything to meet their demands. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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