Thousands protest against Thai military-installed government

Thousands protest against Thai military-installed government

Posted: 03 June 2007 0103 hrs
Photo : ม้าเร็วบางไซ, มังกรดำ, korn, arthericez

 
 

Thai protestors shout anti-coup slogans during demonstration in Bangkok

   
 

BANGKOK – Thousands of protesters descended on central Bangkok
Saturday to demand an end to the military-installed government in the
biggest display of defiance against the military since last year’s
coup.



Organisers claimed more than 15,000 people showed up for the rally,
while police estimates said there were fewer than half that number.



“The crowd is around 6,000,” an official from the police special branch said, declining to be identified.



More than 1,000 security force personnel were deployed near Sanam
Luang plaza in central Bangkok, the police official said, adding
authorities had banned the protesters from moving anywhere beyond the
plaza.



But rally organiser Jatuporn Prompan said: “More than 15,000 people
attended the protest. We plan to hold more demonstrations until
elections are held.” National polls are expected in December.

The crowd of mostly middle-aged men and women gathered to denounce
the military, which calls itself the Council for National Security
(CNS), and to call for the return of deposed premier Thaksin
Shinawatra.



Police major general Manit Wongsomboon said: “The situation is under control. There were no signs of violence.”

“I came today to protest against the military. I want Thaksin to
come back. I hate the CNS,” Srida Singha, a 60-year-old retired
government official, said.



Some protesters waved red-and-white flags which read: “CNS, Get
Out” at the rally organised by allies of Thaksin, who was ousted by the
military in a bloodless coup in September 2006.



Another man, aged 50, said the coup was “an insult” to Thai people
and complained that the nation’s economy had worsened since the putsch.

“I oppose the military coup. Since the coup, our economy has nosedived,” said the man, who declined to be named.

The government recently cut its growth forecast for this year from
4.0-5.0 percent to 3.8-4.8 percent, with consumer confidence stuck at a
five-year low.

A middle-aged woman said she wanted Thaksin, a business-savvy leader, back in charge of the country.

“I don’t like soldiers. They took away our freedom and democracy. I want Thaksin to come back,” she said.

On Wednesday, Thailand’s Constitutional Tribunal disbanded
Thaksin’s Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party and barred the ousted premier and
110 senior party leaders from politics for five years due to election
law violations.

But just two days after the ruling, coup leader General Sonthi
Boonyaratglin hinted the army-backed government could propose an
amnesty to allow top leaders of the TRT to return to public office.

While suggesting a possible route back into politics for Thaksin,
Sonthi stressed that the deposed premier first had to clear a
corruption case.

The military has justified last year’s coup by saying Thaksin was
corrupt and that it would probe alleged graft during his five years in
office.

The Assets Examination Committee, a powerful anti-corruption body
set up by the military, last month recommended for the first time that
Thaksin and his wife Pojaman face charges over a controversial land
purchase.

Thaksin remains in self-imposed exile and currently lives in London.

The attorney general will decide within weeks whether to bring the case to court.

– AFP /ls

6,000 Thais protest against ruling military

Posted: 02 June 2007 2252 hrs

 
 

Thai policemen stand guard during a protest rally (file pic)

   
 

BANGKOK – A crowd of 6,000 protesters rallied Saturday, police said, to demand an end to the military-installed government in the
biggest protest against the military since last year’s coup.


“The crowd is around 6,000,” an official from the police’s special branch said, declining to be identified.

More than 1,000 security forces were deployed near Sanam Luang plaza, the police official said, adding authorities had banned the protesters from moving anywhere beyond the plaza.



The crowd of mostly middle-aged men and women gathered at Bangkok’s Sanam Luang plaza to denounce the military, which calls itself the
Council for National Security (CNS), and call for the return of deposed premier Thaksin Shinawatra.



“I came today to protest against the military. I want Thaksin to come back. I hate the CNS,” Srida Singha, a 60-year-old retired government official, said.

Some protesters waved red-and-white flags which read “CNS, Get Out” at the rally organised by allies of Thaksin, who was ousted by the military in a bloodless coup in September 2006.



Another man aged 50 said the coup was “an insult” to Thai people and complained that the nation’s economy had worsened since the putsch.



“I oppose the military coup. Since the coup, our economy has nosedived,” said the man, who declined to be named.



The government recently cut its growth forecast for this year from 4.0-5.0 percent to 3.8-4.8 percent, with consumer confidence stuck at a
five-year low.


A middle-aged woman said she wanted Thaksin, a business-savvy leader, back in charge of the country.

“I don’t like soldiers. They took away our freedom and democracy. I want Thaksin to come back,” she said.


– AFP /ls

 

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