PAD demands action on Thaksin while leaders submit to police

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The People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) yesterday issued a statement warning the government to protect the monarchy, the Privy Council and the court of justice by blocking the video link of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinwatra’s phone-ins, cancelling his passport and having him extradited.

After the PAD leaders’ meeting, Suriyasai Katasila read a statement warning against government inaction to fugitive Thaksin’s moves to destroy the country’s significant institutions – through phone- ins to supporters gathered in protest almost every night since March 26 – by smearing the three institutions and accusing Privy Council chief General Prem Tinsulanonda of plotting a coup to bring down his government.

Suriyasai said Thaksin aimed to discredit the justice system in order to bargain with the country in exchange for his amnesty and the recovery of his frozen assets.

The statement continued that Thaksin did not implicate only individuals but the monarchy and the adviser structure. He had earlier tried to amend the Constitution to reduce the monarchy’s power by proposing legislation to remove the Privy Council, and scrap the lese majesty law – and continuously smeared and insulted the monarchy.

Thaksin’s accusation against Prem was unacceptable because Prem had greatly contributed to the country and served his Majesty the King with honesty and loyalty.

The PAD resolved that Thaksin be condemned, and urged Thaksin to prove his innocence under the country’s justice system. It also called on the government to revoke his passports and extradite him.

The statement demanded the government block the airing of Thaksin’s video, reasoning that allowing Thaksin to smear the justice system was equal to sabotaging national security.

In a related story, leaders of the PAD yesterday turned themselves in to police to face charges involving the seizure of Parliament on October 7 last year.

Twenty-one PAD leaders surrendered to police at the Royal Thai Police Club on Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road. Forty-two police were deployed to question the suspects before pressing charges against them.

More than 2,000 PAD members turned up to give moral support to their leaders, causing heavy traffic congestion on adjacent roads. Hundreds of police kept tight security at the club.

Bangkok deputy police chief Pol Maj General Amnuay Nimmano said the 21 PAD leaders were charged with instigating unrest, obstructing police duties, and detaining state officials – in connection with the incident that led protesters to lay siege to Parliament on October 7.

He said the PAD leaders were questioned but refused to give statements. Their lawyers sought from the police 30 days to submit their statements, which police allowed.

Amnuay said all 21 suspects were fingerprinted after being presented with the three charges. They were released without having to post bail because they had not been arrested.

By The Nation
Published on March 31, 2009

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