Some 4,000 protest Thailand’s junta

AFP

Fri Apr 27, 2:02 PM ET
Thai protestors shouts slogans against the military government in front of Bangkok's famous Grand Palace. Some 4,000 people protested in Bangkok Friday against Thailand's military-backed government, which came to power after a September coup that ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra.(AFP)
AFP Photo:
Thai protestors shouts slogans
 against the military government in front of
Bangkok’s famous Grand Palace….

BANGKOK (AFP) – Some 4,000 people protested in Bangkok Friday against
Thailand’s military-backed government, which came to power after a
September coup that ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
Defying rain, the crowd of mostly middle-aged men and women gathered at

Bangkok’s Sanam Luang plaza for the demonstration organised by allies
of Thaksin, who has remained in self-exile abroad since the coup.

“Since the coup, our economy has been going downhill,” a male protester

shouted from a makeshift stage at the plaza, while some 1,000 policemen
stood guard.

Police estimated the crowd at 4,000, while rally organisers could not be reached for their estimate.

The peaceful protest was held as the army-installed government comes
under increasing criticism over a number of policy miscues, including
its economic management and an escalating insurgency in the
Muslim-majority south.

Pojana Thairattana, a 56-year-old office worker, said her family’s

restaurant business had suffered since the coup, which toppled the
business-savvy Thaksin’s twice-elected government.

“I am here to show the junta that many people don’t support this

government. Nothing really has improved since the coup,” Pojana said.
“I want Thaksin to come back because he has done so well for the
economy.”

Hit by post-coup political worries and depressed consumer confidence,

Thailand’s economy is seen rising 3.8-4.8 percent in 2007, the lowest
growth in six years.

A 53-year-old office worker, who only gave his nickname Lek, said

army-installed Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont, a former general,
should resign to restore democracy.

“I think Surayud and all other military leaders should resign. I don’t

support Thaksin but removing him in the coup was not a right thing,”
Lek said.

“People are not dumb, but the government has treated us like we know nothing,” he said.

Analysts have warned that economic frustration could trigger mass
demonstrations against the junta. Business leaders have urged the
government to take action to shore up the sagging economy.

The protest movement is also beginning to create an odd coalition of

allies, with some pro-democracy groups who last year demonstrated
against Thaksin now joining forces with his allies in protesting
against the junta, they said.

Bangsai Villager Photo

www.chinaview.cn
2007-04-27 21:51:10

BANGKOK, April 27 (Xinhua) — More than 1,000 demonstrators held an
anti-coup and anti-government rally in Bangkok’s Sanam Luang (the Royal Square) late Friday, calling for the government and the military-founded Council for National Security (CNS) to step down.

    The demonstration was led by controversial television broadcaster the
People’s Television (PTV) which was recently banned from broadcasting via
satellite by the government with the reason of “the station was founded
unlawfully.”

    The slogans of the rally was more than complaining the unfair fate of PTV.
Many demonstrators were holding pictures of the former Prime Minister Thaksin
Shinawatra, condemning the Council for National Security (CNS), which was set up
by the Army Chief Sonthi Boonyaratkalin after the Sept. 19 coup, and deriding
the inefficiency of the government.

    The military and the government approved the 4th rally held by PTV earlier
although they were severely deprecated by the demonstrators. Gen Sonthi
Boonyaratglin, chairman of the CNS, said on Friday morning that he was not
worried over the rally.

    “Nothing to worry about,” Sonthi replied when he was asked to comment on
the planned demonstration against the government and CNS.

    However, more than 900 police officers were deployed around Sanam Luang
since Friday afternoon to maintain peace and order. All the people walking into
Sanam Luang have been searched for weapons.

    Metropolitan Police Commissioner Adisorn Nonsee earlier was quoted by the
Thai News Agency as saying that those who might possibly launch groundless
accusations against others during Friday’s demonstration would be immediately
brought to justice and all the speeches will be taped.

Some 4,000 protest Thailand’s junta
04.27.07,
12:01 PM ET

BANGKOK (Thomson Financial) – Some 4,000 people protested in
Bangkok today against Thailand’s military-backed government, which came
to power after a September coup that ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

The crowd gathered at Bangkok’s Sanam Luang plaza for the demonstration
organised by allies of Thaksin, who has remained in self-exile abroad
since the coup.

The peaceful protest was held as the
army-installed government comes under increasing criticism over a
number of policy miscues, including its economic management and an
escalating insurgency in the Muslim-majority south.

Hit by
post-coup political worries and depressed consumer confidence,
Thailand’s economy is seen rising 3.8-4.8 pct in 2007, the lowest
growth in six years.

Analysts have warned that economic
frustration could trigger mass demonstrations against the junta.
Business leaders have urged the government to take action to shore up
the sagging economy.

The protest movement is also beginning to
create an odd coalition of allies, with some pro-democracy groups who
last year demonstrated against Thaksin now joining forces with his
allies in protesting against the junta, they said.

tf.TFN-Europe_newsdesk@thomson.com

afp/amb

Demonstrators again hold anti-coup rally in Bangkok

UPDATED: 07:57, April 28, 2007

More than 1,000 demonstrators held an anti-coup and anti-government
rally in Bangkok’s Sanam Luang (the Royal Square) late Friday, calling
for the government and the military-founded Council for National
Security (CNS) to step down.

The demonstration was led by controversial television
broadcaster the People’s Television (PTV) which was recently banned
from broadcasting via satellite by the government with the reason of
“the station was founded unlawfully.”

The slogans of the rally was more than complaining the unfair
fate of PTV. Many demonstrators were holding pictures of the former
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, condemning the Council for National
Security (CNS) which was set up by the Army Chief Sonthi Boonyaratkalin
after the Sept. 19 coup, and deriding the inefficiency of the
government.

The military and the government approved the 4th rally held by
PTV earlier although they were severely deprecated by the
demonstrators. Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin, chairman of the CNS, said on
Friday morning that he was not worried over the rally.

“Nothing to worry about,” Sonthi replied when he was asked to
comment on the planned demonstration against the government and CNS.

However, more than 900 police officers were deployed around
Sanam Luang since Friday afternoon to maintain peace and order. All the
people walking into Sanam Luang have been searched for weapons.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Adisorn Nonsee earlier was
quoted by the Thai News Agency as saying that those who might possibly
launch groundless accusations against others during Friday’s
demonstration would be immediately brought to justice and all the
speeches will be taped.

Source: Xinhua

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