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Tomorrow’s red rally to be peaceful: Jatuporn

Posted by arnon_k On November - 18 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

The red-shirt rally planned for tomorrow will abide by the law and remain within the right to a peaceful assembly as prescribed by the Constitution, Pheu Thai MP and organiser Jatuporn Promphan said on Thursday.
“The red shirts will exercise their constitutional right to a peaceful assembly in order to mark the six-month rememberance of fellow protesters killed, injured and imprisoned,” he said.

Jatuporn was speaking after a meeting at the Metropolitan Police Bureau to coordinate orderly activities for the red shirts.

The tomorrow’s rally is expected to include three main activities the Bangkok Remand Prison where red-shirt leaders are being remanded, the Department of Special Investigation which is handling the probes into violence triggered by the unruly protests between March and May and Rajprasong Intersection, the main rally site.

After meeting with police, Jatuporn travelled on to the Army Auditorium to pay a visit to Colonel Sansern Kaewkamnerd, the spokesman of the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation.

Jatuporn said he wanted to report himself to Sansern after the CRES said it planned to summon rally organisers to ensure peace and social order.

But he was turned back at the auditorium gate due to a lack of appointment.

Reds to return, northern border quiet

Posted by arnon_k On November - 12 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Security and intelligence agencies have been instructed by Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) director and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon to keep a close watch on activities of the red-shirts on Nov 13, 14 and 19, CRES deputy spokesman Songpol Wattanachai said on Friday.

The CRES understands the red-shirts of the anti-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) plan to rally in Bangkok on these three days.

Nov 13 marks six months since rogue soldier Maj-Gen Khattiya Sawasdipol, also known as Seh Daeng, was shot by a sniper near Lumpini park on May 13, and Nov 19 six months since the May 19 military crackdown that cleared the red-shirts from Ratchaprasong intersection.

The cremation of former prime minister Samak Sundaravej is scheduled for Nov 14. Police expect some red-shirts to turn up at the ceremony.

Pol Col Songpol said about 500 police would be deployed to ensure law and order. Although there were no reports of possible violence, authorities were required to be watchful, he added.

He said the CRES had been in touch with the organisers of these activities and advised them to stay lawful and not to prolong their rallies.

Supreme Commander Songkitti Jaggabatara said CRES will decide the appropriate time to lift the emergency decree from Bangkok and adjacent provinces.

“The situation right now is normal, but to revoke the emergency decree potentially dangerous incidents must first be dealt with and state agencies must be able to work normally,” Gen Songkitti said.

“The CRES is the centre that coordinates with different ministries and departments and will determine when the emergency decree should be lifted.”

When reporters asked about Democrat Party secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban’s return as deputy prime minister in charge of security affairs, the supreme commander said the army and the Defence Ministry had no problems with Mr Suthep.

On Deputy Prime Minister Sanan Kachornprasart’s plan to meet with army officials to discuss his plan to bring about national reconciliation, he said the army had no enemies but the army also supported Maj-Gen Sanan’s peace mission.

As for the unrest near the Thai-Burmese border, Gen Songkitti said the situation along the border with Burma has generally improved and the Burmese military has agreed to be more careful and not fire stray shots into Thailand.

Gen Songkitti said there were still sporadic clashes opposite the Three Pagodas Pass in Kanchanaburi’s Sangkhla Buri district.

Burma was in the process of restoring internal order and Thailand would not infringe on its sovereignty, he said.

“We have been in contact with the Burmese military at every level. The military attaches of the two countries have been working together.

“Burma has accepted our request to be careful in using its weapons.

“In the past clashes, we did not know which side the shells landing in Thailand came from,” Gen Songkitti said, referring to clashes between Burmese government troops and rebels of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA).

He said the situation in Burma would eventually return to normal, sooner or later.

Tak governor Samart Loyfa said the situation along the border opposite Mae Sot and Phop Phra district was quiet, pending negotiations between Burmese government forces and DKBA rebels, probably next week.

The junta was trying to persuade the Karen rebels to integrate with the Border Guard Force (BGF).

Mr Samart said provincial authorities had prepared in advance to take in war refugees. There was always fighting opposite Phop Phra district during the dry season.

DSI connects UDD chiefs to arms drills

Posted by arnon_k On October - 15 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Agency claims to have names of sponsors

Red shirt hard-liners who received weapons training in Cambodia enjoyed support from key figures and sponsors of the anti-government movement, the Department of Special Investigation says.

DSI director-general Tharit Pengdit said yesterday intelligence gathered by his department confirmed the names of six people who had provided support to the hard-liners.

Their identities matched descriptions given by 11 red shirts arrested on Oct 2 at a resort in Chiang Mai who claimed they had received arms training in Cambodia.

Mr Tharit said the six were core members of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship. They persuaded red shirt supporters to take up weapons training and provided them with financial support.

Mr Tharit refused to reveal the names but said his department would continue its investigations to identify other key red shirt supporters connected to the alleged arms training.

Some were suspected by the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation of sponsoring red shirt demonstrations but their names have all been removed from a blacklist of people being investigated.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday responded to Cambodia’s demand for Thailand to explain the report from the DSI that red shirt militants had received arms training in Cambodia.

Mr Abhisit said Thailand had not accused anyone and he did not need to clarify the issue with Phnom Penh.

The DSI based its report on facts, although it should be careful of releasing information that concerns another country, he said.

Reports that Kasi Ditthanarat, a suspect wanted in connection with the explosion at the Saman Metta Mansion apartment in Nonthaburi on Oct 5, had been arrested could not be confirmed late last night.

Mr Kasi is suspected by the DSI of hiring Samai Wongsuwan, the alleged bomb maker who was killed in the apartment blast.

In Chiang Mai yesterday, Wasa Theprian, the secretary to a lower house committee, reported to police along with a businessman from Bangkok identified as Mr Surachai.

Ms Wasa reportedly transferred 50,000 baht given to her by Mr Surachai to Mr Kasi.

She and Mr Surachai were brought to meet the police by Puea Thai Party MP for Phayao Wisut Chai-narun.

Chiang Mai 11 ‘claim’ Siem Reap training

Posted by arnon_k On October - 12 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Cambodia denies DSI story of guerrilla camp

Eleven people arrested in a raid on a resort in Chiang Mai and suspected of planning acts of terror claim they and 28 other individuals underwent weapons training in Siem Reap, the Department of Special Investigation says.

The group were arrested on Oct 2 at Doi Ku Fah resort in Mae On subdistrict.

DSI investigator Phayao Thongsen said a plot to assassinate high-profile figures, including former deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban, was among the group’s alleged missions.

Pol Lt Col Phayao said investigators had evidence of phone calls made between the group in Chiang Mai and red shirt community radio operators in Cambodia.

The Cambodian government yesterday denied the group had received arms training from its soldiers.

“Our constitution does not allow anyone to do that sort of thing [on Cambodian soil]. Nobody is allowed to do any such stupid thing in Cambodia,” said Cambodian government spokesman Phay Siphan.

“So I think this accusation is a made-up story to blame Cambodia, and is also [part of the] campaign against the red shirts, using Cambodia as a springboard for Thai local politics.”

Pol Lt Col Phayao said the 11 suspects had provided investigators with useful information. They were being held without charge under the witness protection programme.

He alleged the group had confessed they joined the red shirt protests led by the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) and had witnessed clashes between protesters and government forces.

The investigator also alleged they were persuaded after the Bangkok protests by a group called Rak Chiang Mai 51, led by Kanyaphak Maneechak or “DJ Orm”, to join a faction planning to undergo arms training in Cambodia.

The 39 people were sent to Cambodia via several routes, bypassing all immigration checkpoints.

The 11 suspects in custody claimed they had met several red shirt leaders in Siem Reap, Pol Lt Col Phayao said.

Training took three weeks, he said. They were shown anti-monarchy videos during the first week, the second week involved lessons in general weapons knowledge, while the final week involved actual hands-on use of weapons, the investigator said.

They reportedly received 20,000 baht in cash upon completing the training, after which 35 of them returned to Thailand through Surin on Aug 16. Four others remained in Cambodia to act as bodyguards for red shirt leader Arisman Pongruangrong, he said.

The group of 11 presently in custody were summoned to the Chiang Mai resort to prepare for their missions. They were at the resort for more than a month prior to their arrest.

One of the 11 suspects, Kittichai Chansawat, reportedly could not stand the tough regimen at the resort and ran away, asking local people to bring him to the police, which led to the arrest of the other 10 suspects at the resort, Pol Lt Col Phayao said. Police reported earlier that a village headman had thought Mr Kittichai was acting strangely when he asked for directions and so he had called the police.

Investigators said they had seized detailed maps of planned routes to the homes of important people, including Mr Suthep.

The other members of the group alleged to have trained in Cambodia are suspected to have spread out to several provinces including Lop Buri, Bangkok, Chon Buri and Saraburi.