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39 dead on first day New Year's holiday

Posted by hasekamp on 29 December 2013 at 22:38 PM
A total of 39 people were killed and 399 others injured in road accidents yesterday, the first day of the so-called "seven dangerous days" of the New Year holiday period, the Road Safety Centre announced. (Source: The Nation)


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So far 8 dead

Posted by hasekamp on 29 December 2013 at 22:36 PM
Eight people have been killed and more than 300 injured over the past two months due to the overheating political tension that led to clashes with police on Thursday and a drive-by shooting early yesterday. (Source: The Nation)


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Suthep thinks he is the boss

Posted by hasekamp on 29 December 2013 at 22:34 PM
Anti-government protesters plan to "seize Bangkok" after the New Year holiday, leader Suthep Thaugsuban vowed on Saturday, while red-shirt supporters of the government called for a fight against a possible coup. Mr Suthep told protesters from the Democracy Monument stage that after they return from visiting their families over the holiday, they should come back to take over the capital to return power to the people. "I ask my brothers and sisters in various provinces to be prepared and help us seize Bangkok," he said. "Wait for our signal and bring your clothes and food with you because we'll fight for months until we achieve victory. "As for my brothers and sisters in Bangkok, we will not leave an inch of this capital city for the people of the Thaksin [Shinawatra] regime to stay in and take advantage of the people."
Red-shirt leaders, meanwhile, said the people must get ready to rise up and fight against a coup now that the army chief has said he can't rule out military intervention in the political crisis. Jatuporn Prompan, a top UDD member, said that if a coup did happen, the military would be seen as having conspired with Mr Suthep from the beginning. Mr Suthep, a former Democrat Party powerbroker and deputy premier, quit his MP position two months ago to lead protests that have brought hundreds of thousands of people onto the streets of the capital. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Protsters build barricades

Posted by hasekamp on 29 December 2013 at 22:29 PM
Protesters from the People's Democratic Force to Overthrow Thaksinism (Pefot) are building more bunkers at their base at Makkhawan Rangsan Bridge after a giant firecracker explosed in their midst on Sunday, injuring five people, one of them seriously. The Pefot decided to increase safety measures following the blast of the giant firecracker by building a barricade with sandbags on Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue. The move came after the firecracker was thrown at them at about 1.30pm at their rally site near the United Nations building. Four of the injured were admitted to Ramathibodi Hospital and one was hospitalised at a mobile medical unit of volunteer nurses near Makkhawan Rangsan. Pol Col Songpol Wathanachai, deputy chief of Metropolitan Police Division 1, said he had ordered local police to investigate. He believed it was the work of a third-hand party that wanted to create trouble to exacerbate the situation. Police were examining footage of security surveillance cameras in the area, he said. (Source: the Bangkok Post)


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PM reveals National Reform Assembly plan

Posted by hasekamp on 27 December 2013 at 11:57 AM
Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday floated the idea of setting up a reform assembly in parallel with preparations for the February 2 election, but analysts said it would not work, and the protest movement immediately rejected it. On a special TV programme, Yingluck said the post-election government would be committed to continuing the work of the so-called National Reform Assembly. She called for all sectors of society to join the assembly to lead the country out of conflict. "My government has listened to suggestions of several sides from several forums and agrees that reforms are needed in the social, economic and political dimensions," she said. To start the process, an 11-member committee would be set up to organise the assembly, then 2,000 people would be recruited from professional groups and organisations throughout the country. They in turn would select 499 members from among themselves for the council. The committee formed to organise the selection process, Yingluck said, would specify qualifications and other conditions of those who wished to be on the 499-member council. The 11-member committee would include the supreme commander of the Armed Forces, the secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board, chiefs of government agencies, and the president of the Board of Trade of Thailand. Yingluck insisted that her government would not get involved in the establishment of the assembly. The Prime Minister's Office and the interim Cabinet would only acknowledge the council, but their official approval would not be required. She did not give any indication of how long the assembly would operate, though earlier she suggested a term of two years. (Source: The Nation)


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Journalists consider it seen

Posted by hasekamp on 27 December 2013 at 11:53 AM
Dozens of journalists yesterday afternoon fled for their lives as police heavily cracked down on protesters. They did so through many gates of the Bangkok Youth Centre (Thai-Japan) aka the Thai-Japanese Stadium. Awareness and observation are life-saving instincts for journalists covering a riot. For at least five years Thailand has hosted anti-government rallies and several of them had escalated into bloody battles between protesters and police. Members of the media have a duty to report the news, so many times they are in danger. They get injured during clashes, such as the latest exchange of fire at the Thai-Japan Stadium yesterday when three people were shot by rubber bullets and several were hurt by tear gas. (Source: The Nation)


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Phuket remembers tsunami victims

Posted by hasekamp on 27 December 2013 at 11:50 AM
To mark the ninth anniversary of 2004 Asian tsunami, which affected Thailand's six Andaman provinces, the Tambon Mai Khao Administration Organisation on Thursday morning hosted interreligious rites in Phuket's Thalang district. An evening remembrance for some 800 people who died in Phuket is taking place at Patong Beach. Some 50 officials from local bodies, representatives of the US ConsulateGeneral in Phuket and relatives of those who were killed or went missing in the disaster attended the Buddhist, Islamic and Christian rites at the Tsunami Wall. They also laid wreaths at the wall, which was painted white and featured the names and flags of the 45 countries whose nationals died in the tsunami. The evening event titled "Light Up Phuket" is taking place at Patong Beach's Loma Park and invites people to lay wreaths and light candles in remembrance of those who were lost in the disaster. Activities have also been organised to boost the morale of those suffered from the deadly waves, as well as lessons about how to protect oneself from such a disaster and the importance of early disaster warning. Students' paintings on the subject "9 years after the Tsunami and a step forwards" were also exhibited. Ranong , where 151 people were killed on December 26, 2004, was quiet. The provincial disaster prevention and mitigation office didn't host a commemoration or religious rite at the tsunami monument at Prapas Beach in Suk Samran district as in previous years. Only some relatives of the dead went to lay wreaths at the monument. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Army chief does not rule out coup

Posted by hasekamp on 27 December 2013 at 11:47 AM
Army Commander in Chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha on Friday urged both sides in the country's bitter political dispute to show restraint, but did not explicitly rule out the possibility of a coup. "That door is neither open nor closed, depending on situations" the army chief, Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, said in response to questions from reporters as to whether a military intervention was likely. He also reiterated a request that people stop asking the army to take sides in the dispute. "Please don\92t bring the army into the centre of this conflict," Prayuth said. Prayuth said the army had shown "red traffic lights to both sides, so things will calm down," and called for an end to street violence. "You ask, \92Who wins?\92 Who wins?\92 No one," he said. On Thursday, protesters seeking to disrupt elections scheduled for Feb. 2 battled with police in clashes that left two people dead. At the same time, Election commission called for a delay in the polls, a blow to Yingluck, who expects to win them handily thanks to her overwhelming support in the country\92s north and northeast. (Source: The Nation)


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EC suggests delay of election

Posted by hasekamp on 27 December 2013 at 11:43 AM
Clashes that claimed the life of one police officer and injured scores more yesterday could force the resignation of several election commissioners and threaten to derail the Feb 2 election. The newly-appointed Election Commission (EC) members yesterday for the first time stressed publicly that the scheduled poll could not be held under the current circumstances. "It is not hard to predict that the election will not be smooth, fair and transparent under the current circumstances," EC chairman Supachai Somcharoen said at a press conference shortly after the ballot numbers for party-list candidates were drawn. The EC urged the government to postpone the Feb 2 polls following the clash between police and anti-government protesters outside the Thai-Japanese Stadium in Din Daeng where candidacy registration was being held. Protesters from the Network of Students and People for Reform of Thailand attempted to storm through the stadium gates to disrupt the ballot number draw. Twelve companies of police deployed inside the compound responded with a volley of tear gas and rubber bullets and sprayed the protesters with dyed water from a truck-mounted cannon. Several live bullets were also fired by unidentified gunmen. One police officer was shot in the chest and died later at Police General Hospital, while a protest guard was shot in the head and remained in serious condition at Rajavithi Hospital. The clash also left 26 other officers and 70 protesters injured. The violence forced the evacuation of commissioners and election officials from the stadium by helicopter. The commissioners then met and announced their stance on the political situation. The EC said the commissioners would use their personal judgement to resolve the situation if the government did not heed its call to postpone the election. An EC source said that at least three out of five commissioners might resign if the poll is not delayed, which would render the EC unable to perform its duty. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Suthep and friends create chaos

Posted by hasekamp on 27 December 2013 at 11:37 AM
The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday morning managed to organise the drawing of ballot sheet numbers for the party-list system in the planned Feb 2 election as chaos ruled outside the venue at the Thai-Japanese sports complex in Bangkok. Thirty political parties which had applied to contest the general election in the party-list system drew numbers. Outside the building, chaos reigned as protesters of the Network of Students and People for Reform of Thailand (SRT) tried to disrupt the process. The EC arranged for representatives of the 34 parties which had applied to register for the polls on Monday to attend the draw of party numbers for the ballot sheets at the Thai-Japanese sports complex this morning at 9am. About 7am, the SRT protesters arrived at Gates No 1-3 of the Din Daeng complex on 15 buses and two trucks - one equipped with a sound system and another a makeshift stage. Their leaders then took turn to speaking on the stage, attacking the Election Commission (EC). Twelve companies of police that had been deployed inside the compound then tried in vain to stop the protesters entering the complex. The protesters cut chains securing the gates, used a crane to pull open a gate, and hurled rocks into the sports complex. Police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets and water cannon firing purple water. This happened while EC officials were examining documents on the candidates on the party lists. Two army helicopters were seen hovering over the sports complex keeping watch on the situation. The five EC members were escorted into the complex by police under the command of Pol Gen Vorapong Chiewpreecha, a deputy police chief. At 8.30am, Somsak Suriyamongkol, deputy secretary-general of the EC, said only 30 of the 34 parties which had applied would be eligible for the drawing of ballot sheet numbers. A helicopter evacuated the five EC members and political parties' representatives from the Thai-Japanese stadium. After the draw, it was reported that a number of news reporters, EC officials and political party representatives were still inside the stadium as the protesters had closed all gates. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Two dead, 153 wounded

Posted by hasekamp on 27 December 2013 at 11:30 AM
One seriously wounded protester died on Friday morning, raising the death toll from yesterday's clash between the Network of Students and People for Reform of Thailand and police to two. The number of injured people as of 9.30am was 153, according to Health Department chief Dr Suphan Sithamma. Dr Suphan said the first person to die was Pol Sr Sgt Maj Narong Pitisith, who was pronounced dead at the Police Hospital yesterday. The other fatality was a male protester, aged about 30, who was shot in the chest and treated at King Mongkut Hospital. He died at 3am this morning. Of the 153 wounded, 38 are still being treated at Ramathibodi, Ratchawithi, King Mongkut, Police, Phayathai 1, Phayathai 2, War Veterans, Paolo, Central General, Lat Krabang and Lertsin hospitals. Special attention was now on three spots prone to violence - Government House, Thai-Japanese sports complex and Metropolitan Police headquarters - where emergency rescue units had been put on alert, Dr Suphan said. (Source: The Bangkok Post) NOTE: A report about the latest unrests can be found elsewhere on this page)


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Some prefer a coup

Posted by hasekamp on 27 December 2013 at 11:26 AM
Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul admitted on Friday that some Pheu Thai Party members would prefer another military coup to a regime dictated by the agenda of the anti-government protesters. "They would prefer seeing the military tear up the constitution" to seeing the future of the country in the hands of ''those people coming from nowhere'', Mr Surapong said on the "Inside Thailand" programme on FM97.0 station when asked about the sentiments of people inside the party. He was referring to Suthep Thaugsuban and his People's Democratic Reform Committee and its street campaign to unseat caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and for reforms before an election. Mr Surapong, head of the government's Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (Capo), did not indicate whether he agreed agreed with these sentiments or not. He said Pheu Thai members, including himself, opposed the present constitution but could still live with it by playing by the rules. The constitution was written by charter writers handpicked by the military after the coup in 2006 that ousted then prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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The world wants Thailand to stay democratic

Posted by hasekamp on 22 December 2013 at 10:41 AM
Surapong Tohvichakchaikul, in his capacity as chief of the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO), claimed on Wednesday that 50 countries have expressed concern at the political chaos in Thailand. "This marks the first time in the global community that 50 countries have expressed their support to a country. The countries have issued statements between December and today in support of Thailand. They do not want Thailand to go at astray," he said. "They want all parties in Thailand to initiate dialogue to settle the problems and say they should abide by the constitution and democratic system. (Source: The Nation)


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Democrtats do not participate in election

Posted by hasekamp on 22 December 2013 at 10:38 AM
After a meeting on Saturday December 21, the Democrats have resolved not to field any candidate in the election scheduled for February 2. Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said "We don't believe the February 2 election will lead to true reform and restore public confidence in the system" (Source: The Nation). NOTE: Mind you, they call themselves Democrats! It looks as if that they want an not-elected government.


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Yingluck follows protest on the go

Posted by hasekamp on 22 December 2013 at 10:33 AM
During her train journey from Udon Thani to Nong Khai, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Sunday watched anti-government protesters staging protest at her residence in Ramintra area. She monitored the situation via iPad, which was linked the signal from camera circuit at her home via Internet. She told the media to tell the protesters that the house\92s owner was not there. (Source: The Nation)


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Suthep wants to paralyse Bangkok

Posted by hasekamp on 22 December 2013 at 10:30 AM
People's Democratic Reform Committee secretary general Suthep Thaugsuban declared that protesters would paralyse Bangkok traffics at least half a day on Sunday (December 22) with simultaneous demonstrations around the capital. He said about 1.7 million to 2.3 million people would join the demonstrations from 1 pm to 6pm. He said the demonstrations would cover 577,000 square metres of Bangkok streets and adjacent areas in the city. Rally stages would be set up at the Victory Monument, Ratchathevi, Pathumvan, Samyan, Lumpini Park, Siam, Ratchaprasong, Ploenchit and Asoke. "On December 22, we will try not to make you, people, too tired. So, we have an appointment on December 22 and the demonstrations will begin at 1pm," Suthep told the rally at the Democracy Monument Wednesday night. "Those who live near [planned rally sites], please come out to join the rallies. I would like to invite you to join rallies on Rajdamnoen, Urupong Intersection, on Phetchaburi Road. Suthep said the demonstrators would disperse at 6 pm and if Yingluck Shinawatra refused to resign as the caretaker prime minister, he would hold more mass and simultaneous rallies. He said his group estimated that the rallies would cover some 577,000 square metres. At the calculation of three demonstrators per a square metre, there would be at least 1.7 million protesters if the areas are fully occupied, Suthep said. (Source: The Nation)


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Army warns for civil war

Posted by hasekamp on 22 December 2013 at 10:18 AM
Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha yesterday expressed concern about the risk of civil war if the political conflict continues, proposing the formation of a people's assembly comprising "all colours" to help heal the divide. The army chief stressed his assembly would bear little resemblance to the "people's council" proposed by People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) protest group leader Suthep Thaugsuban. "The people's assembly must not be organised or sponsored by any conflicting group, as it would not be accepted by the other side," he said. "It must be from a neutral group and comprise non-core representatives of all colours, and all colour leaders must be excluded." He was referring to the colour-coded politics of recent years, such as the traditionally pro-Pheu Thai red shirts and their yellow-shirt rivals. Gen Prayuth was speaking after a meeting yesterday of the Defence Council, chaired by caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who doubles as caretaker Defence Minister. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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PDRC is trying to block election

Posted by hasekamp on 22 December 2013 at 10:14 AM
Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra calls on all political parties to sign a ratification for establishing a national reform council after the Feb 2 general election. Her call was made in a statement broadcast over national television on Saturday. She said her administration stood firm in its stance that it will continue to protect the constitution and the constitutional monarchy. The government would like Thai people across the country to jointly find solutions to the political crisis under the democratic framework. She said the national reform process can proceed in parallel with the general election. The election must take place because the legislative branch represents the people and parliamentary mechanisms are the main driving force to bring about proposals or reforms.
Meanwhile, co-leaders of the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Council (PDRC) announced on the anti-government stage on Ratchadamnoen Road that the Democrat Party will not field any candidates for the general election. PDRC leader Sathit Wongnongtoey, who is a former Democrat MP, said the Democrat Party will not contest in the polls but they will fight alongside the protesters. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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EC afraid

Posted by hasekamp on 22 December 2013 at 10:08 AM
The Election Commission (EC) has expressed concern over the mass anti-government rallies beginning today (Sunday December 22), fearing they could prevent the first day of election candidate registration on Monday. EC member Somchai Srisuthiyakorn said there were fears about the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) rallies targeting the Thai-Japanese sports stadium which is to be used as the registration venue for party-list MP candidates. The PDRC's announcement that it would hold rallies overnight indicated they might intend to block officials from entering the stadium. He said the protesters would be breaking the law if they prevented EC officials from performing their duty, but "I think they are not paying any attention to that". (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Protest at US embassy

Posted by hasekamp on 16 December 2013 at 10:07 AM
The Student and People\92s Network for the Reform of Thailand will protest at the US Embassy today for what its leaders said was the interference in the Thai internal affairs over its support for the caretaker government to hold the February 2 general elections. The scheduled protest today prompted the Royal Thai Police to beef up security at the US Embassy in Bangkok with over a hundred anti-riot police are now deployed. Group leader Nititorn Lamlua said last night protests would be made at US and EC embassies which threw support for the February 2 elections reasoning that it was the interference of Thai internal affairs. He also said demonstrators would obstruct the election by all peaceful means, for example the opening of the first day of candidate registration on December 22 which would not be allowed to take place. He said the group did not oppose to election but would like it be held after the reform has accomplished and general election taken care by an interim government without the hands of this caretaker government. He also said if the February 2 election is held before the reform, bad and corrupted politicians of the Thaksin regime would all return to power through vote-buying and through the caretaker government politicians. (Source: Thai PBS)


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Suthep wants academics to join him

Posted by hasekamp on 15 December 2013 at 23:17 PM
Anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban on Saturday called on academics to join his movement to set up an appointed people's council to reform the political system. The head of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) made the appeal at the first of several weekend forums being held in attempts to resolve the country's political deadlock. "Reform is needed before the election," Mr Suthep told an audience of professors and students gathered at Thammasat University, one of the country's oldest educational institutions. "Please join us. We are the people. We are the power," said the former Democrat Party MP for Surat Thani. His proposed reforms would include stricter penalties for vote buying and political corruption. He told the audience that the caretaker government under Yingluck Shinawatra had lost its legitimacy since it had rejected the Constitution Court's ruling on the charter amendment to make the Senate a fully elected body. Therefore, a special government for the people is needed to administer and reform the nation before a general election can be held, he said. He also urged rural doctors across the country to work with people from various professions in setting up provincial PDRC units. "Supporters of all political colour codes can join us and work together for the survival of our country, and I'm open to suggestions from all sides as long as they're appropriate and beneficial to the country." The protest leader had initially agreed to send representatives to a government forum planned on Sunday, but cancelled out of concern that his group's attendance would lend legitimacy to the meeting's outcome. "None of us will go," Mr Suthep told his supporters at a rally Friday night. "It would be viewed that we endorse the plan to have reform after the election (on Feb 2)." He wants caretaker prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her caretaker cabinet to resign to pave the way for an appointed premier who would set up a people's council and an interim government to make political reforms before the next election. "We have to prepare ourselves to form a people's government. We need a government that has no political parties being involved, a people's council that is free from political parties' influences," Mr Suthep said. He has proposed setting up a 400-member people's council, with 100 of the members appointed by the PDRC. (Source:The Bangkok Post)


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Suthep warns Yinluck

Posted by hasekamp on 15 December 2013 at 23:09 PM
Suthep Thaugsuban, leader of the antigovernment protest, warned Friday that if Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra ignores the demand for her to step down, she will be forced by "people's power" to do so. Speaking to the media at the Royal Turf Club before noon Friday, Suthep said that with a political vacuum following her departure, a politically neutral person would be selected to become the new prime minister. And a people's council would be set up to carry out reforms, Suthep said, adding that he expected this process to take 8 to 14 months. (Source: The Nation)


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Suthep wants to go international

Posted by hasekamp on 15 December 2013 at 23:06 PM
People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) spokesperson Akanat Promphan Sunday urged the Rural Doctors Society to work on the establishment of provincial PDRC units. Meanwhile, as part of its strategy to gain foreign support, the PDRC is planning a roadshow, which will approach foreign embassies and media. The PDRC is also looking for volunteers with foreign-language skills to help with the task. Those interested are requested to register through the group's Facebook page. (Source: The Nation)


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Red-shirts want elections: one man one vote

Posted by hasekamp on 15 December 2013 at 23:04 PM
Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship (DAAD) chairwoman Thida Thavornsret yesterday likened the refusal of some protesters to accept the one-person, one-vote system to a failure to treat all humans as equal. "If you can't accept the one-man one-vote system, I would like to ask you to ponder whether you think some groups of humans are more valuable than others," she said. She also described the People's Council, proposed by the People\92s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), as an Elite Council. Thida announced a clear stance of the DAAD, or red shirts. "We disagree with the so-called People's Council. We don't think the government should resign," she said at a government-hosted forum. The forum was held as the government, led by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, sought to explore ways to end the ongoing political crisis. (Source: The Nation)


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Suthep reveals his ideas

Posted by hasekamp on 14 December 2013 at 23:14 PM
Politicians convicted of corruption should face the death sentence or life imprisonment and those convicted of vote-buying should face a life-time political ban, the People's Democratic Reform Committee proposed. People who attended a forum to discuss political reform at Thammasat University yesterday also suggested that politicians who face charges not be allowed to leave the country. They also said a minister of defence must be military officer and to protect farmers' interest, representatives of farmers and rice millers should sit as members of the National Rice Policy board. Other proposals include that MPs should be limited to serve only two terms. The National Anti-Corruption Commission must give priority in investigating cases against politicians and corruption cases should not have any statute of limitation; and that Election Commission members must be replaced every time a new general election is called.
Meanwhile, Supreme Commander General Thanasak Patimaprakorn said he wanted to see the country quickly return to peace. Since the election date had been set, he hoped concerned people could find ways to ensure free and fair election. "It is true that Rome is not made in one day, but by the time it is finished, there will be no people to live there," he said.
Suthep said he understood that prolonged struggle for political reform would affect the economy, and that people were waiting for the military to make a decision. But the people had decided to choose by cutting a vicious circle from Thai politics. Suthep urged the military to side with the people adding that the best way they could lead the country out of political doldrums was to make the caretaker PM step down. "The people have awakened and if state officials stand by the people, the matter will be put to rest. If you make a quick decision, the people will hail you as the people's heroes," he said. Suthep insisted that before the general election is held the caretaker government must step down to pave way for an interim government to run the country temporarily while the people's council must be established to implement reform. He vowed that after the reform is completed, he would wash his hands of politics. (Source:The Nation)
Mr. Suthep said much more, but we believe this impression tells our readers enough of the anti-democratic ideas of Mr. Suthep.


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And the military starts to speak too

Posted by hasekamp on 11 December 2013 at 12:49 PM
The Army chief called on Thai to adopt the rule of law and political science principles to end these ongoing political conflicts, Army deputy spokesman Col Winthai Suvaree said Wednesday. "The best way is to find a path that everyone can move on together, bridge the political divide. In reality people win some and lose some. We have to strike a balance and the middle path that all sides can accept," Winthai quoted Prayuth as saying. (Source: The Nation)


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Now the red-shirts start to protest

Posted by hasekamp on 11 December 2013 at 12:46 PM
Red-shirt supporters across the country will rally in four provinces surrounding the capital if the anti-government People\92s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) of Suthep continues its demand for a people\92s council under Section 7 of the constitution, an Isan "red village" leader claimed on Wednesday. Arnon Saenan, secretary-general of the Red Village movement, said red-shirts from the Northeast region would converge in Nakhon Ratchasima province, those in the North would gather in Nakhon Sawan, those in the Central region in Ayutthaya, and those in the South in Phetchaburi if the protesters continue their demands. Mr Arnon said about 1,000 red-shirt representatives from groups nationwide had gathered at a seminar to discuss the issue at Buri Ram Ratjabhat University on Tuesday, Post Today reported. Anuwat Thinnarat, chairman of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) network in Isan, said at the meeting that his group would stay put, awaiting the PDRC\92s next move, the report said. Mr Anuwat said Mr Suthep should call off the protest and take part in the general election, to really find out what the majority of the country want. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Suthep thinks he runs the country

Posted by hasekamp on 11 December 2013 at 12:39 PM
Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban said power had been returned to the Thai people on Monday night, arguing that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is no longer in charge of running the country. The committee leader cited Section 3 of the constitution in his first formal speech since Yingluck announced her decision to dissolve the House of Representatives and call a general election on Monday morning. The decision is still pending His Majesty the King's endorsement. Mr Suthep said the constitution dictates that "sovereign power belongs to the Thai people". "From this minute, sovereign power has been taken back [from government] by the people," he told supporters. Ms Yingluck said the Pheu Thai-led government would continue to administer the country until a general election is held - acting as a caretaker government. Mr Suthep is yet to explain what protesters will do next. However, the PDRC has already said that it wants Ms Yingluck to resign from post and clear the way for a royally-endorsed prime minister to run the country while a people's council begins executing political reforms. Mr Suthep accused government of rejecting the authority of the Constitution Court, trying to pass amnesty legislation to whitewash former premier Thaksin Shinawatra and of creating widespread corruption and cronyism across state agencies, among other charges. He said such wrongdoing had forced protesters to take to the streets and seize back power from government. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Damages in government buildings

Posted by hasekamp on 11 December 2013 at 12:29 PM
Several offices at the Finance Ministry and Government Complex were damaged along with property and cars, plus computer laptops, a preliminary investigation has found. Pol Colonel Anucha Ramayanant, deputy spokesman of the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO), said his agency sent forensic experts and an explosive-ordnance disposal team to examine damage at the Government Complex and Finance Ministry after the protesters left these two places on Monday and shifted their rally to Government House. The team was only able to check four police agencies - the Office of the Inspector-General, the Office of Internal Audits, the Technology Crime Suppression Division, and the Immigration Division. Several offices in these agencies were dismantled and property damaged. Pol Lieutenant Udom Rujirachakorn, of Thung Song Hong, who was tasked to investigate the damage, said he found that a laptop owned by the Technology Crime Suppression Division was stolen, along with personal items belonging to staff. He would study surveillance-camera footage to investigate the crime scene and find the thieves. Government spokesman Teerat Ratanasevi said the PM had asked ministers to let the media check on damage that occurred during the occupation of state offices. The government has said it will take legal action if damage is found. (Source: The Nation)


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What do the protesters really want?

Posted by hasekamp on 11 December 2013 at 12:24 PM
Protesters waging a surreal political fight to oust the prime minister are trying to establish what amounts to a parallel government - one complete with "security volunteers" to replace the police, a foreign policy of their own and a central committee that has already begun issuing audacious 'orders'.
Among the most brazen: a demand Tuesday that caretaker premier Yingluck Shinawatra be prosecuted for "insurrection," and another calling on the public to "closely monitor" her family\92s movements.
Leading academics have slammed the scheme as undemocratic and unconstitutional. Critics have called its leader, Suthep Thaugsuban, delusional. But the ex-lawmaker\92s bid to seize power is backed by many in Bangkok and could become reality if the military or the judiciary intervenes, as they have in the past. Analysts say this Southeast Asian nation is at a dangerous new crossroads that could drag on, and end with more bloodshed. "This is a combustible situation. We cannot have two governments in Bangkok running Thailand," said Thitinan Pongsudhirak, director of Chulalongkorn\92s Institute of Security and International Studies. "Something will have to give."
Yingluck is desperate to end weeks of political unrest that has killed five people and wounded nearly 300 more. On Monday, she dissolved the lower house of Parliament and called for elections, now set for Feb. 2. But neither move defused the crisis, and a 150,000-strong crowd pressed on with a massive march against her in Bangkok. Yingluck said Tuesday she would not resign despite a nighttime deadline issued by Suthep. But there was no hiding the nation\92s precarious state. Asked how she was holding up, tears welled in Yingluck\92s eyes. "I have retreated as far as I can,\92\92 she said, just before turning and walking quickly away. The protesters accuse Yingluck\92s government of abuse of power and say her party has used its electoral majority to impose its will on a minority. They say Yingluck is merely a proxy for her billionaire brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who lives in self-imposed exile to avoid jail time for a corruption conviction but still wields immense influence from abroad.
Suthep, the protest leader, said late Tuesday that as of now, "there is no government." He said his People\92s Democratic Reform Committee would nominate a new prime minister to fill the vacuum, although it has no legal authority to do so. The 64-year-old politician also ordered the head of police to order all his forces to return their posts within 12 hours and said soldiers should take responsibility for protecting government offices. Suthep had laid out other details of his plan Monday. Citing a clause in the constitution stating that "the highest power is the sovereign power of the people," he claimed his movement was assuming some government functions and called on civil servants to report to it. He said a new constitution would be written that would ban populist policies, bar corruption convictions from being pardoned and ensure that "a single party cannot control things." He also said the movement will "fully respect our sovereign obligations and maintain good relations with all states and international organisations."
The reality, for now, is that no parallel government exists, and that protesters hold less ground than they did at the weekend. Ahead of Monday\92s march, they withdrew from the Finance Ministry and part of a vast government complex they had occupied for a week. The conflict is likely to "go on and on until all sides sit down and negotiate a compromise,\92\92 said Siripan Nogsuan Sawasdee, a political science professor in Bangkok. "That\92s going to take a long, long time,\92\92 she said. "There is no easy way out." (Analysis by The Nation / Associated Press)


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Suthep to be arrested

Posted by hasekamp on 10 December 2013 at 11:31 AM
Caretaker Justice Minister Chaikasem Nitisiri said today that the resignation of the caretaker government including prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra would be a breach of the Constitution. Flatly rejecting protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban\92s demand for Ms Yingluck to relinquish the caretaker position, he said the caretaker Cabinet members are bound by the royal decree to assume their responsibilities and their resignations would be in violation of the charter. The stipulation (on a caretaker government) is clearly stated in Section 181 of the Constitution to avoid vacuum in the country\92s administration, he explained.Mr Chaikasem said Mr Suthep\92s proposals on an interim government council were unlawful. Mr Suthep is not empowered to issue orders to Cabinet members, civil servants and government officials, or set up a volunteer unit to work in place of the police, he said. He said Mr Suthep is violating the royal power in announcing the formation of a government and Cabinet while the present administration remains in charge. The caretaker justice minister said the authorities would arrest Mr Suthep on insurrection charges if they could approach him. Somsak Kiatsuranond, former Parliament president, said Mr Suthep should be realistic and abide by the charter in making political proposals and resolutions for the country. (Source: MCOT online news)


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Romanian criminals go to Thailand

Posted by hasekamp on 9 December 2013 at 12:49 PM
Customs officers at Phuket International Airport arrested Romanian Pop Florin, 52, on Friday night after finding more than 3kg of cocaine in his baggage. Acting on a tip-off from the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Customs officers from Bangkok came to Phuket to assist in the arrest, Phuket Airport Customs Director Montira Cherchoo explained. \93Mr Florin departed Sao Paulo, Brazil, on December 4 bound for Dubai. He left Dubai on December 6 and arrived at Phuket International Airport at 9:30pm on Friday night,\94 Ms Montri told the Phuket Gazette. \93When he arrived, we x-rayed his luggage and found 3.165 kilograms of cocaine in a black plastic bag. The cocaine was foil-wrapped, attached to spools of ribbon with black tape, then covered in ribbon," she said. Mr Florin confessed to being paid 3,000 euros \96 more than 120,000 baht \96 to smuggle the cocaine into Thailand, Ms Montira said. \93He was escorted to Bangkok where he will face charges of possession and trafficking of a Category 2 narcotic with intent to sell,\94 she added. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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EC: General election in 60 days

Posted by hasekamp on 9 December 2013 at 12:41 PM
A general election will be held within 60 days, Election Commission (EC) member Sodsri Sattayatham said on Monday. "I expect there will be a general election within 60 days, as stated in the constitution," Ms Sodsri said, after Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra announced a House dissolution on national television about 8.45am. Sixty days from Dec 9 is Feb 7, 2014, a Friday. She suggested Feb 2, a Sunday. The commissioner said members of the Democrat Party who had resigned from the House could register again and contest the polls. The EC will cancel the planned by-elections on Dec 22 to fill eight seats previously left vacant by the resignation of Democrat MPs, she added. Last month, nine Democrat MPs resigned to lead an all-out protest against the Yingluck administration. One was a party-list MP, not requiring a by-election. On Sunday, Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, accompanied by party members, announced that all 153 party MPs had agreed to resign with immediate effect. Pheu Thai Party leader Charupong Ruangsuwan said Pheu Thai is ready for the elections and he believed that Ms Yingluck would again be No 1 on the party list. Mr Charupong said the Pheu Thai executive committee would meet in one or two days to lay down an election strategy. The return to politics of 109 executives of dissolved political parties would liven up the elections. It would also do away with a possible problem over selection of election candidates. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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House to be dissolved, protests go on

Posted by hasekamp on 9 December 2013 at 12:37 PM
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra announced the dissolution of the House of Representatives on Monday after a huge turnout of anti-government protesters, determined to end to the "Thaksin regime" - but the protest continued. Ms Yingluck made the announcement this morning in an address broadcast by Thai Television Pool of Thailand. She said she would remain the head of the caretaker government until there is a new cabinet. (NOTE: This is the democratic way.)
The protesters are demanding she and her interim cabinet resign, to make way for a "people's council" that would decide on major reforms and the form of the new government ahead of elections. "The situation seems likely to escalate to violence so the government has decided to return power to the people and let them decide through elections," the prime minister said in her nationwide broadcast. The decision was made as tens of thousands of protesters began marching to Government House. An estimated 200,000 demonstrators were gathered in Ratchadamnoen and Ratchadamnoen Nok avenues on Monday morning, near the Democracy Monument. The main rally led by protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban was at least 3km long when it began the almost 30km march from the Government complex on Chaeng Wattana Road to Government House in the centre of Bangkok. "The prime minister's decision came a little too late," Chaiyan Chaiyaporn, a political analyst of Chulalongkorn University, told FM101 radio station. Anti-government protesters were already marching on the streets. Nine armies of protesters were organised by the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC). (NOTE: We keep wondering why these movements always use the word "democratic" in their names). Groups from various rallying points, including university students and people from Wong Wian Yai across the Chao Phraya River, joined the march as they converged on Government House. Ms Yingluck's decision was aimed at ending the rallies, but it was now up to the protest leaders, he said. "The momentum has shifted to the protest leaders, to how they will react (to the prime minister's decision)," Mr Chaiyan said. "The House dissolution does not mean the defeat of the government. It is the last resort of the government," he added. (NOTE: He probably means the last resort of a democratic solution".) Suthep Thaugsuban, the proclaimed PDRC secretary-general, made it clear that a House dissolution, or a resignation by the premier, would not be enough to end the rallies - not until the "Thaksin influence" is uprooted from the country. He would make an important announcement at Government House this evening, PDRC core member Sathit Wongnongtoey said. The rally on Monday was joined by all former leaders of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), including Sondhi Limthongkul, who said before walking from Ban Phra Arthit that the PDRC is playing a leading role in the campaign to end the Thaksin influence. Pibhop Thongchai, a former PAD leader, said the House dissolution was not enough, not until the goal is achieved. The prime minister remains in power despite the dissolution of the House, he said. The army encouraged all sides involved in the political unrest to come to a peaceful resolution, despite having different point of views. Deputy army spokesman Col Winthai Suwaree said the military does not want any violent conflict between fellow Thais. (NOTE: This means that a coup by the military is not unlikely.) Mr Surapong asked for the protesters' cooperation, saying this would help to quickly restore the country's image and maintain a democratic system under the constitution. (Source, except for the notes: The Bangkok Post)


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Thai online community honors King

Posted by hasekamp on 5 December 2013 at 14:25 PM
Early in December every year, the Thai online community pays its respects to His Majesty the King by posting their best wishes to the Monarch on the occasion of his birthday through the social media. On the day before His Majesty's birthday (on December 5), many Thais are changing their Facebook profile pictures to celebrate the King's birthday. While the photographs are very varied, most carry a message that offers best wishes to His Majesty on the occasion of his birthday and includes the words "Long Live The King of Thailand". They also feature a commitment to undertake good deeds as a gift to the His Majesty, and to respect the King forever. The messages most frequently posted are "We Love The King" and "Long Live The King". (Source: The Nation)


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Suthep wants to continue tomorrow

Posted by hasekamp on 5 December 2013 at 14:18 PM
The anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) has halted its month-long rally to celebrate His Majesty the King's Birthday today, and plans to resume the protest tomorrow. However, the group encouraged people to celebrate at three of its rally sites: Democracy Monument, and the besieged Finance Ministry and Government Complex. A merit-making ceremony will be carried out starting with the giving of alms to 99 monks at 7am, followed by the offering of a meal to the monks. At 5pm, there will be a chanting ceremony and at 6.30pm PDRC secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban will lead the protesters to wish HM the King a happy birthday at the three rally stages in Bangkok, and at other sites in the provinces. Suthep on Tuesday night said the group would continue its protest against the so-called "Thaksin regime" tomorrow. (Source: The Nation)


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Candle -lit ceremonies

Posted by hasekamp on 5 December 2013 at 14:13 PM
Millions of people joined candle-lit ceremonies across the country on Thursday night to mark His Majesty the King\92s 86th birthday. The ceremony at Sanum Luang was broadcast live on national television while each province held ceremonies at provincial halls in a concurrent event at 7.30pm. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra led the ceremony to praise the King\92s kindness to his subjects, vowed to have unity and wished His Majesty a happy birthday. After the ceremony, there was also a set of 38 fireworks displays at Sanam Luang.
Anti-government demonstrators held their own ceremonies at their main protest sites at Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Avenue and the government office complex on Chang Wattana Road where thousands of protesters wore yellow shirts as they joined the celebration. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Thais come to Hua Hin

Posted by hasekamp on 5 December 2013 at 14:10 PM
Thousands of Thai people have arrived in the seaside town of Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan to get the opportunity to catch the glimpse of His Majesty the King on his 86th birthday on Dec 5. The Royal Household Bureau announced that a royal audience will be granted at Rajpracha Samakhom Pavilion in Klai Kangwon Palace at 10.30am on a live broadcast. Members of the royal family, civil servants and royal guards will gather to wish His Majesty the King a happy birthday. Hundreds of well-wishers have lined both sides of Phetkasem road leading to Klai Kangwon Palace. Some of them have brought maps and tents as they intended to sleep overnight there. Some people even arrived on Monday. The Transport Ministry is arranging special trains and buses to Hua Hin as people are flocking to the seaside town to celebrate His Majesty the King\92s birthday on Thursday. A train carrying 760 passengers will leave Hua Lumphong station at 4.30am and arrive in Hua Hin four hours later. The return trip will depart the town in Prachuap Khiri Khan at 9.30pm and return to Bangkok at 00.30am on Friday. It is in addition to eight regular southern trains which run daily from Bangkok, State Railway of Thailand governor Prapat Chongsanguan said. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) on Wednesday ordered all mobile phone operators to increase signal strength for mobile phones in order to accommodate the large crowd expected to arrive in Hua Hin on the King\92s birthday from Wednesday to Friday, according to secretary-general ThakornTantasit. Thailand Post Co has invited the public to send their message to the King via its application \93iPost-a-Card\94 available on smartphone until Dec 31. All messages will be printed on real postcards and submitted to His Majesty. A new stamp collection will also be released on Thursday. There will also be a display of 30,000 fireworks from five boats anchored offshore so all people visiting Hua Hin beach can watch the display up close.
In Bangkok, political tension has been eased just ahead of the big event. Anti-government protesters at Ratchadamnoen Avenue have jointly helped to clean up their protest site on Wednesday morning. The avenue has been glittering at night with hunderds of thousands of tiny light blubs. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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King calls for stability

Posted by hasekamp on 5 December 2013 at 14:06 PM
HM the King advised Thai people to properly fulfill the role and duties their work requires of them, for the sake of the stability and security of the country, in his speech on the eve of his 86th birthday at Klai Kangwon Palace in Hua Hin district of Prachuap Khiri Khan on Thursday. He said Thailand has been a peaceful country for a long time, with Thai people united and working to support each other for the national interest. "All Thais should realise this point a lot and behave and perform our duties accordingly, our duty for the sake of the public, for stability, security for our nation of Thailand," His Majesty said, then expressed the wish that all Thai people should be happy. Prior to his arrival at Rajpracha Samakhom Pavilion, many thousands of well-wishers wearing yellow shirts and waving yellow flags - the colour yellow symbolising the King - lined Phetkasem Road, the approach to the palace, eager for the opportunity to catch a glimpse of His Majesty on his short trip to the venue of the grand audience. Many were noticeably emotional, and some were seen crying as His Majesty passed by to loud cheers and cries of "Long live the King!". The royal procession was broadcast live on television nationwide, as was the grand audience. He was received at the Rajpracha Samakhom Pavilion by members of the royal family, but there was no appearance by Her Majesty the Queen. The military fired a 21 gun salute as the King made his appearance in the pavilion. His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and House Speaker and Parliament President Somsak Kiatsuranont each wished His Majesty a happy birthday. HRH Crown Prince Maha Vijiralongkorn said Thai people were grateful to be living in Thailand during the reign of His Majesty. "We vow to behave well to follow the good example set by His Majesty," he said. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the King, out of kindness, initiated the first royal project at Khao Tao water reservoir in Hua Hin at the beginning of his reign. His kindness had been shining out for for a long time, she said. The Thai people wish the King to have no worries and to be full with happiness. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Three shot with live bullets

Posted by hasekamp on 3 December 2013 at 12:51 PM
AT LEAST three people were shot with "live" bullets during clashes yesterday between anti-government demonstrators and police in Bangkok, according to the Public Health Ministry. As of 4pm yesterday, 94 people had received treatment for tear gas injuries at Bangkok hospitals - and no death was reported, Public Health Minister Pradith Sinthawanarong said. Pradit said the toll of people injured in the ongoing unrest from November 30 |to 4pm on December 2 stood at 221. The civil strife has already seen at least three deaths, all victims of incidents in Ramkhamhaeng. Two suffered from 'live' bullets and required surgery; one sustained a shot in the chest and the other was shot in the leg. Two other protesters were shot with rubber bullets; one was hit in stomach and the other only had a minor injury and was discharged. (Source: The Nation)


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PM invites for talks

Posted by hasekamp on 3 December 2013 at 12:46 PM
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Tuesday called for academics, businessmen, anti-government protesters and members of the public from all walks of life to take part in a "people's forum" to resolve political conflict in the country. Despite demonstrations continuing, she said that tensions have eased considerably because police and soldiers have been asked to treat the protesters with leniency to avoid bloodshed. The prime minister invited the private sector to be part of the people's forum to help restore the confidence of tourists and investors. She also called on the media to report on the ongoing political conflict constructively and avoid encouraging hatred between Thai people. Addressing all Thai people, Ms Yingluck said: "I believe that His Majesty the King's birthday (December 5) will be another occasion for the Thai people to be happy and unite for him." (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Protesters claim victory, PM silent

Posted by hasekamp on 3 December 2013 at 12:43 PM
Anti-government leaders on Tuesday declared victory after protesters were allowed access to the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) headquarters and Government House grounds after police dismantled barbed wire and concrete barriers. Thavorn Senniam, core member of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) and a former Democrat Party MP, announced their "triumph" to the crowd after he negotiated with officers at the MPB headquarters on Sri Ayutthaya Road on Tuesday morning for the removal of barriers and access to the grounds. The protesters then organised the crowd, telling them which route they should take to enter the MPB, beginning around 10.40am Tuesday, but the crowd seemed uncertain and waited outside for about an hour before actually moving into the grounds. About 12.50pm, another group of demonstrators were able to enter the Government House grounds peacefully, after police barriers at Orathai and Chamai Maruchet bridges were taken down and they were allowed through. The peaceful scene on Tuesday was in stark contrast from Monday and overnight, when police fired tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets as protesters attempted to storm and overturn the barriers. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra refused to make any comment to reporters about the protesters' proclamation of victory. Ms Yingluck said she had instructed Deputy Prime Minister Pongthep Thepkanchana and Justice Minister Chaikasem Nitisiri to discuss ways of solving the country's political problem with academics and respected lawyers. The police Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO) held its first conference of the day a short time later. Spokesman Pol Maj Gen Piya Uthayo said the situation at Government House and the city police headquarters was under control. (Source:The Bangkok Post)


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First train after rail repairs derails!

Posted by hasekamp on 2 December 2013 at 21:36 PM
The first train to re-launch services to the North after weeks of closure for railway maintenance, travelling with State Railway of Thailand Governor Prapat Chongsanguan on board, derailed yesterday morning, just when the Bangkok-Chiang Mai express was about to reach Lamphun. Fortunately, there were no injuries. (Source: The Nation)


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Abhisit thinks he has any chance

Posted by hasekamp on 1 December 2013 at 11:46 AM
Opposition Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva Thursday insisted his party is determined to overthrow the Thaksin regime, saying the government has lost the legitimacy to remain in office. Abhisit said Democrats were ready to support people movement within constitutional means. He did not rule out the possibility of his MPs resigning. "If it leads us to win in the battle we won't hesitate [to do it] with unity," he said. He said he would like to invite all people to join the Democrat to reform the party with the goal to help the country. "Our aim is to uproot Thaksin regime. If we succeed, all of us in the Democrat Party will not accept any post as a result of unconstitutional way of fight,\92" he said. (Source: The Nation)


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Extra protection for Government House

Posted by hasekamp on 1 December 2013 at 11:42 AM
Police erected three layers of concrete barriers backed by barbwires at all intersections around the Government House to fend of protesters. Police allowed people to pass through only the First Infantry Intersection near the Metropolitan Police head office. About 600 troops were deployed to keep security inside the Government House compound. (Source: The Nation)


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To take all tv stations?

Posted by hasekamp on 1 December 2013 at 11:36 AM
Sathit Wongnongtaey, a protest leader announced at 10.15am that protesters will also march to Channel 3, Channel 5, Channel 7, MCOT and NBT Sunday. The procession to Channel 3 is led by Taya Teepsuwan while the Channel 5 procession is led by Chitpas Bhirombhakdi. The Channel 7 procession is led by Nathapol Teepsuwan, MCOT procession by Thanom Onketpol, and NBT procession by Thaworn Senneam. It will be additional destinations on top of the initial 10 destinations earlier announced, Sathit said. (Source: The Nation)


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Three associations to protect Internet

Posted by hasekamp on 1 December 2013 at 11:33 AM
Three Internet-business-related associations Sunday called on protesters not to cause any damage that may result in disruption of Internet services. The Thai Webmaster Association, Thai e-Commerce Association, and Digital Advertising Association (Thailand) called for the culprits who cut power to the CAT Telecom Plc Bang Rak building to take responsibility on the damages they did. They also called for the government agencies to have the protection system for computer systems and Internet network from the attack. (Source: The Nation)


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So far 4 dead

Posted by hasekamp on 1 December 2013 at 11:30 AM
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's Erawan Centre has updated the Ramkhamhaeng clash toll to four killed and 57 wounded. The casualties were caused by running clashes on Ramkhamhaeng road between university students and red shirts of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship from early Saturday night to Sunday morning. The killed were identified as Taweesak Phokaew, 21, Wissanu Phaophu, 26, Pvt Thanasit Wiangkham, 22, and Viroj Khemnak, 43. Pvt Thanasit, a soldier, died of a gunshot wound at King Mongkut Hospital. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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What will happen to Suthep?

Posted by hasekamp on 1 December 2013 at 11:27 AM
Anti-government leader Suthep Thaugsuban attracted a huge crowd last Sunday to his "million-man rally", the biggest political protest since the 2005 heyday of the pre-coup yellow shirts. Last week, protest turned to civil disobedience. Rally marches confronted, besieged or actually occupied ministries and department offices and, in a few cases, up-country city and provincial halls. That creates today's problem for Mr Suthep, however. The man who was long thought least likely to lead political mobs turned a small rally into a huge protest, and finessed broken victory promises into important street marches, once again must decide: "What next?" It's interesting that anyone believes there's any hope of political reconciliation. Mr Suthep's brusque rejection of an offer to talk from Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was as predictable as sunrise. More telling was the insulting lack of respect on both sides. Mr Suthep said the government has lost legitimacy to rule the country since it refused to accept the Constitution Court's ruling on the election of senators. His reasoning is not clear how alleged illegal acts by the government legalise illegal acts by his Civil Movement for Democracy (CMD). Mr Suthep himself said his ideas involved toppling the government, reforming democracy, getting rid of bad politicians _ all those named Shinawatra, plus undesignated others _ and allowing more direct access by citizens to national administration. After missing three consecutive dates he set himself for victory last week, Suthep faces two more this week he can ignore, but not finesse. They are Tuesday's rehearsal and Thursday's actual celebration of the country's greatest annual occasion. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Police wants to retake ministry

Posted by hasekamp on 1 December 2013 at 11:21 AM
Police are moving towards the Government Complex and the Finance Ministry in an attempt to retake the two critical offices places from protesters, police spokesman Piya Uthayo said on Sunday. The Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order urged the demonstrators to clear the way for authorities to take control of the two places, Pol Maj Gen Piya said. The news prompted about 7,000 protesters who had converged on the Foreign Ministry to return to the Finance Ministry to prevent it from being seized back by police, while others are returning to the Government Complex. The protesters did not go inside the Foreign Ministry after a promise by Pol Maj Gen Chidchai Kasemwong of Provincial Police Region 9 that the ministry would be sealed off and officials would not turn up for work on Monday. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Protests more serious by the day

Posted by hasekamp on 1 December 2013 at 11:16 AM
Police hurled tear-gas canisters at a crowd of anti-government protesters approaching Panichayakarn intersection on Sunday and turned the hoses on others at different rallying points as the push to drive out the Yingluck administration continued unabated. Many tear-gas canisters were thrown by officers from behind barbed-wire barriers. Tear-gas was also fired at protesters at Chamai Maruchet Bridge as they were trying to march to Government House. Police also used water cannons to drive back the protesters, who fought back by throwing rocks and other objects at them. Officers initially asked the demonstrators not to break through the barriers but they ignored the request. "We're all brothers and sisters," police shouted through a loudspeaker. "Please don't try to come in!"
"Today is an important day. We'll go to anywhere that is important to the government and we'll paralyse it from tomorrow onwards because nobody will be able to work tomorrow," Mr Suthep said. PDRC spokesman Samran Rodphet said a group of anti-government protesters took control of Thai PBS television station on Sunday morning. The anti-government group told Thai PBS representatives to televise speeches made by PDRC co-leaders and programmes of the Democrat Party-owned Blue Sky satellite TV channel. Thai PBS was also told not to broadcast announcements made by the government and the Centre for Administration of Peace and Order (Capo). Meanwhile, protesters were able to occupy the Public Relations Department and the Ministry of Interior on Sunday. A group of protesters led by former Democrat MPs Withaya Kaewparadai and Panich Vikijsreth marched from the Finance Ministry to occupy the Public Relations Department on Soi Aree Samphan off Rama 6 Road in Phayathai district. They managed to occupy the PRD's office without any obstruction. Another group of protesters were also able to lay seige to the Interior Ministry. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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