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PM, security chiefs meet over arrests

Posted by arnon_k On December - 30 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has called an urgent meeting of security chiefs to discuss the arrest on the border of seven Thais, including a Democrat Party MP and a core leader of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, who now face prosecution on charges of trespassing on Cambodian territory.

Deputy Prime Minister for security affairs Suthep Thaugsuban said on Thursday morning that the meeting would discuss ways to help Democrat MP for Bangkok Panich Vikitsreth, PAD co-leader Veera Somkwamkid and the other five Thais. They are still being held by Cambodian authorities, who say they will go on trial in Phnom Penh.

The Thais were arrested yesterday near Ban Nong Jarn in Sa Kaeo province’s Khok Sung district while visiting a disputed border area.

Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya on Thursday morning went to Government House to discuss the matter with the prime minister and Mr Suthep.

Suthep: No conflict over Anchalee

Posted by arnon_k On December - 27 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

There is no conflict in the Democrat Party over the appointment of Anchalee Wanich Theppabutr as the prime minister’s secretary-general, replacing Korbsak Sabhavasu, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said on Monday.

Mr Suthep was commenting on a report that some party members did not agree with the appointment of Mrs Anchalee.

Those who spread the news did so with an ill intention to discredit and destroy the image of the Democrat Party, he said.

Mr Suthep said he himself supported Mrs Anchalee even before the prime minister announce the appointment.

Asked to comment on Department of Special Investigation’s (DSI) plan to seek withdrawal of bail for United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship co-leader Jatuporn Prompan, Mr Suthep said he personally felt Mr Jatuporn had acted inappropriately to create unrest in the country while on bail.

It was up to the court to decide whether to revoke bail for Mr Jatuporn as requested, he added.

DSI chief Tharit Pengdit said last week that he would today ask the court to do so.

Mr Suthep travelled to the South on Monday morning to visit Sirindhorn camp in Pattani’s Yarang district for a situation briefing by commanders of army units operating in the South and officials of the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre.

He was accompanied by Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, the army chief.

Mr Suthep would be in Sathing Phra district of Songkhla in the afternoon to preside over the handing over of houses to flood-hit people.

Govt denies hunting down, killing reds

Posted by arnon_k On December - 24 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban has denied accusations the government is hunting down red shirt members after a guard from the movement was found shot dead in Chiang Mai.

Noi Banjong, also known as DJ Daeng Kotchasarn, was found dead on Sunday in Chiang Mai’s Mae On district. He had been shot more than 20 times.

“What I must do is bring the culprit to justice,” said Mr Suthep, who oversees national security.

“It’s definitely not government policy to kill anyone.”

The deputy chief of police in Chiang Mai, Pol Col Phanudet Boonruang, said yesterday police had not found any clues to suggest Noi was killed by rival political groups.

Police found Noi’s powered tricycle behind a Carrefour superstore in Muang district of Chiang Mai – 30 kilometres from the forest where the body of the 50-year-old man was discovered.

The tricycle had been washed, apparently in a bid to destroy evidence of the murder. A bag of clothing and the man’s shoes were found on the tricycle.

The chief investigator for Chiang Mai police, Pol Col Boonyawat Kerdklam, said Noi was not an active member of the local red shirt group Rak Chiang Mai 51, although he had attended some meetings.

Krisana Prompruengpram, a key red shirt figure in Chiang Mai, said some elements had attempted to hunt down red shirt demonstrators. Noi himself had complained of being followed by a group of people dressed in black.

Mr Krisana said seven methamphetamine pills found in Noi’s hand were probably planted there to establish a false motive. Another red shirt guard identified as Krisada Klaharn was shot dead in Hang Dong district of Chiang Mai three months ago. In another development, a paramilitary ranger accused of firing grenades at a skytrain station during a red shirt rally in April should spend at least the next 12 days in detention, the Criminal Court decided yesterday. The court agreed with a Department of Special Investigation request that it detain James Singsith, 29, while he is being questioned.

Dissolution is on the cards, says Suthep

Posted by arnon_k On December - 23 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Speculation of cabinet reshuffle dismissed
The House of Representatives is expected to be dissolved to pave the way for the next general election after the constitution has been amended next year, says Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban.

Mr Suthep said yesterday the constitutional amendment process and other necessary organic laws being drafted under the charter were expected to be finalised next year.

He dismissed speculation of a cabinet reshuffle which would see the Puea Pandin Party’s “Three Ps” faction return to the government to shore up its majority. The “Three Ps” faction is headed by veteran politicians Phinij Jarusombat, Preecha Laohapongchana and Pairote Suwanchawee.

The faction was ousted in a reshuffle after voting against Bhumjaithai Party members, Interior Minister Chavarat Charnvirakul and Transport Minister Sohpon Zarum, in a recent no-confidence debate.

Mr Suthep said there was no need for a shake-up as all political parties were gearing up for a general election.

The deputy prime minister, who is also secretary-general of the Democrat Party, said he would ask Prime Minister and Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva to set up a committee to take charge of supervising the election. Activities would be organised to raise money to finance the party’s election campaign.

Mr Suthep also said he welcomed the move by Suwat Liptapanlop, a key figure in the Ruam Chart Pattana Party, to put himself up as a candidate for prime minister after the next election.

The Puea Pandin and Ruam Chart Pattana parties have decided to merge to form a medium-sized party and to strengthen their campaigning in the Northeast in a bid to secure at least 40 seats in the House in the coming election.

Mr Suthep said it was good to give voters a wide choice of candidates for the premiership. They might be frustrated with the limited number of candidates from the Puea Thai Party – Mingkwan Sangsuwan and Chalerm Yubamrung – who have offered to become the next prime minister.