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Yellow shirt somsak joins pitak siam bid to oust govt

Posted by arnon_k On November - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Former core yellow-shirt leader Somsak Kosaisuk will take part in the Pitak Siam Group’s anti-government protest at the Royal Plaza next weekend, leader Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit said yesterday.

Mr Somsak was one of five key leaders of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), which protested against then-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra before the administration was toppled by the 2006 coup.

The PAD later succeeded in helping to oust the Thaksin-aligned People Power Party-led government in 2008.

Mr Somsak left the PAD last year and now leads the New Politics Party.

Gen Boonlert confirmed that Mr Somsak’s participation in the rally.

Pitak Siam spokesman Watchara Ritthakhanee insisted next Saturday’s protest would not lead to violence. The rally would be peaceful and not prolonged, he said.

It would be immediately terminated if things get out of control, he said.

AM Watchara also said armed forces chiefs have expressed opposition to the invocation of the Internal Security Act.

The government should not interfere in the expression of political views, AM Watchara said.

The PAD will stage a rally at Saphan Hin in Phuket’s Muang district today.

Several PAD factions in the South are expected to participate in the Phuket demonstration, which will be led by Chamlong Srimuang.

Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday said the government attempted to stoke public fear over the Pitak Siam rally to divert attention from the parliament’s looming censure motion.

Mr Abhisit also said many people believe there is no reason to apply the Internal Security Act.

Pitak Siam’s first rally, at the Royal Turf Club last month, did not lead to any trouble, he said.

“The government should directly talk with the demonstrators and not incite the red shirt movement [to counter with a rally of its own],” Mr Abhisit said.

Meanwhile, Pheu Thai MP for Bangkok Jirayu Huangsap said the public should not be worried about the possible implementation of the Internal Security Act.

Authorities would be empowered to check for weapons at the rally, he said.

The red shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), which supports the Pheu Thai Party, has said its members would stay away from the Royal Plaza area on Saturday.

However, red shirts in Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan and Pathum Thani have announced rallies in their provinces on the same day as the Pitak Siam protest.

The UDD leader in Chiang Mai, Pol Sen Sgt Maj Phichit Tamun, yesterday said more than 20,000 people in the northern provinces would join a rally in Chiang Mai municipality on Thursday.

The group is ready to move into Bangkok if Pitak Siam obstructs the government’s work, he said.

PAD cancels events, supports Pitak Siam

Posted by arnon_k On November - 13 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

The People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) has cancelled its political activities for the weekend of Nov 24-25 to allow its supporters to join the anti-government rally planned by the Pitak Siam group.

Maj-Gen Chamlong Srimuang, a PAD core leader, said Monday PAD leaders will not take part in the Pitak Siam rally, but will give it moral support.

Rank and file supporters could take part at their own discretion, as is their right under the constitution.
As a show of support for Pitak Siam, the PAD’s core members had decided to cancel the group’s own political activities for that weekend, including a reform seminar in Kanchanaburi on Nov 24 and in Phetchaburi on Nov 25, to allow people to freely attend the Pitak Siam rally, Maj Gen Chamlong said.

The PAD led street protests against the Thaksin Shinawatra administration in 2006 which brought about the coup which toppled the government.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung is confident the anti-government rally will not be extended to disrupt the censure debate in parliament, set for Nov 25-27.

He believed the protesters would want to listen to the debate brought by the Democrat Party against the government, so would end their rally in good time.

Pitak Siam is regarded as a regrouping of the anti-Thaksin yellow shirts, the multi-coloured shirts and supporters of the Democrat Party.

Mr Chalerm said he would invite representatives from independent agencies such as the Office of the Ombudsman and the Human Rights Commission to observe security during the rally.

Meanwhile, army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha said the army would not try to prevent the protest by the Pitak Siam group, as supporters had the right to protest peacefully.

He reiterated his intention not to allow active soldiers join the protest, though he said they can still take part in a personal capacity. “I don’t want active soldiers taking part in the gathering because of possible consequences if there are problems coming out of the rally,” he said.

Pitak Siam leader Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit has vowed to mobilise at least 1 million people for the second rally. The first demonstration at the Royal Turf Club on Oct 28 attracted an estimated 20,000 people, according to organisers. Police, however, put the figure at closer to 7,000.

PAD lets members join Pitak rally

Posted by arnon_k On November - 12 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

The People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) has cleared the way for its members to take part in the planned rally of the Pitak Siam group to oust the government.

PAD core members on Monday showed moral support for the group but decided they would not take part in the gathering at the Royal Plaza on Nov 24.

It has decided to cancel a political reform forum slated for Nov 24 in Kanchanaburi and Nov 25 in Phetchaburi, PAD key member Chamlong Srimuang said.

The cancellation is to give PAD supporters the chance “to use their judgement and personal decision on whether they will join the rally on that day with no activities by the PAD creating an obstacle”, he added.

Sondhi Limthongkul, another key PAD leader, said the leaders unanimously agreed not to join Pitak Siam but they will not block their members from going to the Royal Plaza.
Pitak Siam’s first demonstration at the Royal Turf Club on Oct 28 attracted an estimated 20,000 people, according to organisers. Police put the figure at closer to 7,000, but the stadium was full.

Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit, leader of the anti-government Pitak Siam group, has vowed to mobilise at least one million people for the second rally.

The government and the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) remained cautious about the next Pitak Siam demonstration but are optimistic it will not gather pace to bring down the Pheu Thai Party-led government.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung said security authorities would be able to control the demonstrators and was confident that the rally will not spill over to Nov 25 when a censure debate engineered by the opposition Democrat Party begins.

Red-shirt leader Nattawut Saikuar said UDD members will stay away from the Pitak Siam rally to avoid possible confrontations.

The rally will not disturb the work of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her government, they said.

But they were concerned that the situation was reminiscent of what happened before the coup in 2006 when the military decided to oust then prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra after the PAD demonstrations against his government.

National army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha made the army’s position clear on Monday that it will not try to deter the protest by Pitak Siam as the rally is within democratic principles.

But Gen Prayuth reiterated his intention not to allow active soldiers to join in the protest, although they could do so in a personal capacity.

“I don’t want active soldiers to take part in the gathering because of possible consequences if there are problems coming out of the rally,” he said.

Protest forces Thaksin to pull out of US talk

Posted by arnon_k On August - 14 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Yellow shirts block entrance at LA venue
Deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was forced to cancel a dinner and talk with red shirts on Sunday night in Los Angeles after 2,000 yellow-shirts blocked his entrance.
A report at www.siamtownus.com said the ex-premier was supposed to meet his supporters at Thailand Plaza on Hollywood Boulevard at 6pm.

Thaksin was to give a press interview at 6.30pm, have a private dinner with supporters and take to a stage to address them at 8pm.

A makeshift stage was prepared in the car park of Thailand Plaza.

However, about 300 yellow-shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) supporters started gathering near the plaza to block Thaksin’s entry about 5.30pm.

The red shirts, led by Darunee Kritboonyalai, who was wearing a wig in the colours of the Thai flag, parked their cars outside and walked to the venue. By 7pm, the number of yellow-shirt protesters had grown to 2,000.

A car which was believed to be carrying Thaksin was seen driving around the neighbourhood.

However, by 9pm there was no sign of Thaksin at the venue.

It was reported that he finally made a phone call to apologise to his supporters for his absence, saying he could not gain access to Thailand Plaza.

The website quoted Chao Suetae, a red shirt coordinator, as saying that the event was organised by “Red USA”.
The event had two parts – a private dinner with Thaksin and a talk show by the ex-premier.

Twenty people received invitations to the dinner while 65 others had purchased tickets. The talk was planned for two hours before an estimated crowd of 500 people.

Meanwhile, Suriyasai Katasila, coordinator of the Green Politics Group, yesterday hailed the yellow shirts’ US protest.

He said the gathering also served to denounce the US which had failed to honour its extradition treaty with Thailand and instead granted Thaksin a visa.

He said his group will lodge a petition with the National Anti-Corruption Commission this week against a number of individuals and agencies for dereliction of duty for failing to seek the extradition of Thaksin while in the US to stand trial in Thailand. On the list are Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul, the Office of the Attorney General and police.

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