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TPN asks red-shirts to join force

Posted by arnon_k On January - 28 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Chaiwat Sinsuwong, a core leader of Thai Patriots Network (TPN), said on Friday that he had asked key members of the red-shirt United front for Democracy against Dictatorship to jointly fight against the government.

Mr Chaiwat said while he was in jail, he had discussed way to rally against the Abhisit Vejjajiva administration with the detained red-shirt’s leaders.

“I told them that the TPN will continue rallying at the No 4 entrance gate of Government House, the yellow-shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy will protest on the Ratchadamnern Avenue.

“I had asked the red-shirts to gather at Orathai Bridge near the prime minister’s office building compound,” Mr Chaiwat said.

The red-shirt’s key figures said they have to discuss the mater with other UDD leaders before making any decision, he added.

Red-shirts demand fuel tax cut

Posted by arnon_k On January - 17 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

About 50 red-shirts rallied in front of Government House on Monday, demanding the government cut the excise tax on fuel and further freeze the price of LPG for household use.

Led by Somyos Prueksakasemsuk, a leader of the June 24 Democracy group, they submitted a letter containing their demands to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

The red-shirts’ demands:

– Cut the excise tax on fuel so that fuel prices can be lowered by 7 baht per litre;
– Freeze the price of LPG for household use until the end of this year;
– Review the Bank of Thailand’s increase in lending rates or issue measures to aid people paying business, vehicle and housing loans;
– Control prices of consumer goods to prevent profiteering and prevent the hoarding of palm oil, coconut meat and sugar; and
– Levy a tax on inheritance and land at a progressive rate, and use the revenue to provide state welfare.

The protesters placed a caricature of Mr Abhisit at gate No 5, threw eggs at it and poured engine and palm oil on it. They also took turns to speak out against the Abhisit administration.

Mr Somyos asked the government to reply to their demands by Jan 31, otherwise his group would stage a prolonged rally in February.

Reds, yellows plan rallies against govt on Jan 25

Posted by arnon_k On January - 8 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Even though their motives and political objectives do not mix, the red shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship and the yellow shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy may hold rallies on the same day.

A source close to the UDD leadership said the group was monitoring the PAD’s move to hold an anti-government protest on Jan 25.

It is likely the red shirts will hold a rally on the same day to “pile more pressure on the government”.

The source insisted the rallies would be kept separate.

For the UDD, the aim of its protest would be to reinforce the group’s demand for the release of its seven leaders held in prison on terrorism charges.

The PAD will be rallying to protest against the government’s amendment of Section 190 of the 2007 constitution relating to endorsement of international treaties and agreements that could affect the country’s territory.

It fears the change could allow the government to seal a deal on border disputes with Cambodia more easily.

The UDD has taken to the streets on the 10th and 19th days of every month to commemorate red shirt supporters killed during clashes with security forces on April 10 and May 19 last year and to push its demand for the release of its leaders.

UDD chair Thida Thavornseth said yesterday that the group would hold its rally on Sunday as scheduled. Red shirt protesters will gather at Democracy Monument, near the clash between the UDD and soldiers last year, before proceeding to Ratchaprasong intersection.

She expects 60,000 people in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces to join the rally, but some senior members of the UDD and the Puea Thai Party expect to see only about 20,000.

“We don’t think the number of people could put pressure on the government because even the 90 deaths during the red shirt rallies last year couldn’t shake the government,” Ms Thida said.

ICC reps can observe red-shirt trials

Posted by arnon_k On January - 7 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Representatives of various organisations including the International Criminal Court and people in general are allowed by the law to observe a court trial, Office of the Judiciary deputy secretary-general Sarawut Benjakul said on Friday.

Mr Sarawut was responding to United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) chair Thida Thavornseth who said at a press conference early this week that the UDD would invite representatives of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to send observers to the trials of red-shirt leaders facing terrorism-related charges.

He said Section 172 of the Criminal Procedures Code allows for representatives of various organisations and the people in general to observe a court trial in a criminal case.

Defendants in criminal cases are entitled to protection and rights set by international standards, he said.

For example, when a suspect was arrested, he or she has the right to meet and consult a lawyer, who can be present during the course of any interrogation.

The suspect also has the right to receive visitors and to medical treatment when needed.

After being indicted, the defendant has the right to an expeditious and fair trial in the court of first instance, and in to take the case to the Appeal and Supreme courts, Mr Sarawut said.