The Prime Minister believes that now, the international community has a better understanding about former PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s motives while assuring concerned citizens that the government never discriminates against or singles out political groups.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday addressed key issues during his weekly TV show, “Confidence in Thailand with Prime Minister Abhisit” on Channel 11.Abhisit believes the international community now has better understandings of the movement initiated by ousted ex-premiere and fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra and red-shirt leader Jakrapob Penkair and can determine for themselves whether it is democratic.
He said that the reports about Thaksin being able to travel in and out of the United Arab Emirates despite his criminal conviction need to be verified and the responsibility to negotiate an extradition treaty and garner international cooperation in bringing Thaksin back to Thailand falls on the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Regarding recent confiscations of smuggled war weapons in Bangkok last Saturday, he refused to speculate whether the confiscations were linked to a statement made by Jakrapob. Jakrapob dared the red-shirts to pick up weapons to overthrow the government. Abhisit urged the authorities to be vigilant in looking for similar illegal activity since it could potentially cause another round of disturbance.
Abhisit attributed the red-shirt protesters stopping their targeting of the Privy Council to the recent joint parliamentary meeting. During the meeting it was resolved that, in order to rightfully voice political discontent, targeting the Privy Council and causing violence must be avoided.
He gave assurances that the government never employs a double standard in dealing with protest cases and that all sides are treated the same. He added that fairness would be ensured for the defendants of these cases.
Regarding the announcement made by Deputy National Police Chief, Police Lieutenant General Asawin Kwanmuang, that he would arrest suspects in case of the attempted assassination of key leader of the People’s Alliance for Democracy Sondhi Limthongkil within 7 days, Abhisit said he hasn’t discussed this matter with Asawin yet but believes the police must have good reasons to make such a bold statement.
Police Meet to Discuss Thaksin’s Interviews to Foreign Media
The Special Branch Police will be holding a meeting concerning ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s statements to the foreign media that may constitute lese majeste.
Police Lieutenant General Teeradetch Rodphotong , the Special Branch Police Chief, called for a meeting to be held today, in an effort to verify the content of ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s interviews to the foreign media which may be deemed lese majeste.
Police are gathering evidence and witnesses after a special group tasked with the investigation concluded that Thaksin spoke inappropriately to the foreign media about the monarchy.
The media must certify that it really conducted the interview but the problem is that most of the foreign media would categorize Thaksin’s interview as simply an expression of an opinion while the Thai society thinks that what Thaksin did is inappropriate.
Teeradetch added that the interviews given by red-shirt leader Jakrapob Penkair will also have to be verified.