PM of Thailand Gives Phone Interview to CNN and BCC News

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Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva gives an interview on CNN, just 30 minutes after former PM Thaksin Shinawatra made accusations to discredit the Abhisit administration as being undemocratic.

PM Abhisit denies his administration is illegitimate. He also reiterated that political reform cannot be brought about by violence.

The premier is confident he is capable of leading Thailand and that the administration is not ignoring the grassroots who are the main supporters of Thaksin. He also explained that any beneficial policies introduced during the Thaksin regime has been continued by the current administration.

PM Abhisit explains that the protesters have been forced to fall back to areas around Government House and soon the chaos should be over

TOC News

Thailand Prime Minister answers allegations that the Thai government is illegal, undemocratic and unconstitutional.
Thai troops opened fire as they advanced on anti-government protesters Monday amid escalating violence on the streets of Bangkok that has left at least 70 people injured and transformed parts of the tourist hotspot into a battle zone.
It was not immediately known whether the troops fired rubber bullets or live gunshots in the latest development in days of unrest triggered by demands for Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to step down.
Demonstrators commandeered at least two buses, rigged the steering wheels and sent them toward police officers — who fired at the vehicles in response. Other buses were seen burning.

The protesters are loyal to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 coup. The government has blamed him for fomenting the latest clashes.

Thaksin, who fled Thailand last year while facing trial on corruption charges, told CNN Monday he is willing to return home but did not say when.

“Well, you know I am ready to go when the time is right,” he said, speaking from an undisclosed location. “But now, I like to see peaceful protests by the demonstrators. Actually, you know, they are all innocent people. They come with bare hand; they are asking for true democracy and justice. But they got back undemocratic ways with a lot of brutal suppression.”

Earlier in the day, protesters hurled gasoline bombs, blocked intersections and set fires in many parts of Thailand’s capital. Scores of riot police descended on the streets. The prime minister said 23 soldiers and 47 protesters were wounded.

“The first objective is to clear up the traffic blocks around the city,” said Panitan Wattanayagorn, a Thai government spokesman. “The second is to return the government offices and compound back to the officers. Lastly, reduce the threat to the prime minister and his Cabinet ministers.”

The Thai New Year, or Songkran, began Monday and is traditionally a multi-day celebration in the country. People roam the streets, drenching one another and passersby with water guns or containers of water.

This year, however, thousands of “red shirt” protesters — named after their clothing — have rallied for days, saying Abhisit’s 4-month-old government is not democratically elected and that he should call new elections.

The demonstrators have given the prime minister repeated deadlines to resign, but those have come and gone.

“He insists under the circumstances, where there is a lot of deep division in the society … resigning won’t solve any standing conflict,” Panitan said.

On Sunday, Abhisit declared a state of emergency in Bangkok and surrounding areas after the protesters forced the postponement of a summit of Asian leaders in the southern coastal city of Pattaya, embarrassing the government.

Protesters took over two gas tanker trucks Monday, slashed the tires of a police van and surrounded the prime minister’s office, which seemed devoid of a security presence.

The government, which until now had appeared unable to order the army or police to use force in tamping down the protests, set up a “center” Monday with the heads of the police, army, air force and navy to coordinate a response, Panitan said.

“We’re trying as best as we can to go on with our daily lives, and we are hoping that our prime minister is able to resolve everything peacefully soon,” resident Supatra Jenstitwong said.

The protesters are loyal to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 coup. The government has blamed him for fomenting the latest clashes.

Thaksin, who fled Thailand last year while facing trial on corruption charges, said he would return home to lead the people in a march on the capital if necessary.

Now that they have tanks on the street and the soldiers are coming out, so it is time for the people to come out for a revolution,” Thaksin told supporters, speaking by video link from an unknown location.

CNN :Thaksin’s Interview

Thaksin has been found out, and out-manoeuvred

It will be difficult for Thaksin to seek asylum because most countries would not want to welcome him now that they have witnessed the riots and subversive tactics used by his supporters in Bangkok. Thaksin was caught telling blatant lies on CNN and BBC, feeding false information to the global audience that his red-clad supporters were fighting for democracy – when in fact they were burning Bangkok to pave the way for his return.

He was reading a script, telling the international news channels that the military had killed many of his pro-democracy protesters, when in fact there was not a single such case of death reported. The only two people who died, had done so during clashes between Bangkok residents and the protesters

BBC NEWS

BBC NEWS :  Thaksin’s Interview

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Thaksin on protests in Thailand -(VDO )

Thailand’s former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has spoken to the BBC  on April 13, 2009

Abhisit to BBC : Bangkok protests ‘under control’ -(Audio)

Thai PM Abhisit Vejjajiva has said that the situation in Bangkok is under control after a day of battles with anti-government protesters.
Dozens were injured in battles between soldiers and protesters supporting ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra

BBC News: Thailand’s prime minister has told the BBC that troops have brought Bangkok under control after a day of battles with anti-government protesters.

But a day marked by repeated violence ended with two people killed and dozens injured in clashes between residents and protesters near Government House.
PM Abhisit Vejjajiva told the BBC that people were entitled to carry out peaceful protests – but not to riot.
“We are confident that we are in control of the situation,” he said.
Later, Mr Abhisit confirmed the deaths of two people in clashes at Government House.
“We have taken measures which have finally brought the situation under control, except around Government House,” he said.
“However this evening we sadly had clashes between demonstrators and local residents, and we are informed that two local people have been killed and several have been injured by gunshots.”
 
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