[Thai] Civil groups start gathering at Thai-Japanese Sports Complex and Government House

Monday, August 9, 2010

BANGKOK, Aug 7 (MCOT online news) - The yellow-clad People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) movement gathering began at Thai-Japanese Sports Complex in Din Daeng, but activist Veera Sonkwamkid led his 'Thailand Patriot Network' demonstrated at Government House, defying rally prohibition ordered by the the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES).

Maj-Gen Chamlong Srimuang, a PAD core leader who led supporters to rally at Keelawes Stadium 1 in the Thai-Japanese Sports Complex in Din Daeng said the people's movement today was not the political gathering but to exercise pubic rights.

Gen Chamlong said he would not definitely led people to join the demonstration at the Government House as he wanted to see demonstration run orderly and peacefully.

He also invited the people who planned to join the rally at the Government House to join the gathering at the Thai-Japanese Sports Complex instead.

Meanwhile, Veera and Chaiwat Sinsuwong led civil society group - 'Thailand Patriot Network' to Gate number 4 of the Government House. They said the gathering at Thai-Japanese Sports Complex was not the network's consensus.

The police had closed Phitsanulok Road in front of the Government House but opened way for the demonstrators.

The PAD movement on Friday announced it would join a planned gathering of a network of civil groups at Government House on Saturday, their actions designed to seek clarifications from the government over the dispute regarding the ancient Preah Vihear temple.

However the PAD have agreed to move their rally from Government House to Keelawes Stadium 1 in the Thai-Japanese Sports Complex in Din Daeng.

Prime Minster Abhisit Vejjajiva on Friday had hold talks with representatives, including PAD spokesman Parnthep Wongpuapan and 2nd Lt Samdin Lertbutr, an aide to Maj-Gen Chamlong Srimuang.

The premier said the government did not want the groups to rally at Government House, as it could violate the law as the capital is still under an Emergency Decree and risks becoming a disorderly event incited by the thrid party.

The premier himself promised to join the rally to listen to the views of the group over Preah Vihear disputes after he finished his engagement at Hua Hin.

The premier's move followed the airing of differing views over a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with Cambodia in 2000, the civil groups and the PAD urged the government to revoke the MoU and should push the Cambodians out of the disputed 4.6 sq km overlapping area.

The prime minister also pledged to provide channels for the government and the public to express their views, pro and con, regarding the government's actions and plans about the Preah Vihear disputes and the event would be televised on NBT television network on Sunday to let the public to get full information on the matter.

The Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) announced on Friday that Thailand's seat of government, the Government House, is an 'off limits' area, and that four roads around the complex were closed from 8pm Friday.

Violators could face two years imprisonment and Bt40,000 fines.

Metropolitan police chief Pol Lt-Gen Santan Chayanon said that security would be stepped up with six companies of metropolitan police and three companies of army soldiers will be deployed to maintain law and order at and around Government House and roads leading to it.

The CRES also resolved to ban PAD's Saturday gathering at the seat of government as the move is considered as violating the Emergency Decree, saying the civil groups and the PAD should send their representatives to discuss the issue with the government.

CRES spokesman Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd added that some parties also accused the government of what they termed its practice of double standards, which is a vulnerable point.

Col Sansern said the authorities will not allow any group to demonstrate while the state of emergency is still in force and police and soldiers will work together to enforce the law.


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