Chamlong arrested

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KoratCat
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Chamlong arrested

Ungelesener Beitragvon KoratCat » So Okt 05, 2008 5:10 pm

Chamlong arrested

Police arrested core leader and ideologue of the People's Alliance for Democracy Maj-Gen Chamlong Srimuang when he showed up to vote in Sunday's election for Bangkok governor.

After he voted, he was removed from the polling station and taken to the Border Patrol Police Region 1 detention at Pathum Thani just north of Bangkok.

Maj Gen Chamlong is the second of nine PAD leaders to be arrested in less than 48 hours. Chaiwat Sinsuwong was detained last Friday, although Maj-Gen Chamlong is considered more important and influential within the PAD movement.

Police had warned all nine wanted PAD leaders they would be arrested if they came out of the Government House protest grounds seized by PAD in August.

They face several criminal charges including a serious allegation of inciting insurrection by their street protests, which began in Bangkok last May 25.

The arrest warrants against the nine include charges of insurrection, conspiracy, illegal assembly and refusing orders to disperse. Insurrection is the legal equivalent of treason.

The US-based news agency The Associated Press reported that police spokesman Pol Maj Gen Suraphol Thuanthong said authorities were preparing to arrest all remaining seven of the PAD wanted leaders "at an appropriate time and place".

Maj-Gen Chamlong, who also is a spiritual leader of the Santi Asoke cult, has been a familiar figure in anti-government protests since he participated in the popular 1992 anti-military demonstrations which overthrew the army-led dictatorship.

The 73-year-old former officer served in several Thai army positions before he retired in the 1970s. He has headed a political party and for a time was closely allied with the deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, now the main focus of Maj-Gen Chamlong's protests.

Bangkok Post Oct 5, 2008

Arresting him after he came out to fulfill his patriotic duty of voting doesn't make this look any good. Everybody expected the PAD to come up with something again to get back into the headlines . Looks like the Thai Police did rather act on their behalf when going after him at this "appropriate time and place". :wink: :wink:

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Re: Chamlong arrested

Ungelesener Beitragvon KoratCat » Mo Okt 06, 2008 9:22 am

Police Detain Protest Leader in Thailand

BANGKOK — Thailand’s longstanding political crisis took an uncertain turn on Sunday when the police arrested the leader of the antigovernment protesters occupying the grounds of the prime minister’s office here.

The protest leader, Chamlong Srimuang, a 73-year-old former army general, was detained early Sunday immediately after casting his vote in Bangkok’s gubernatorial election. He faces charges of insurrection and inciting unrest.

The arrest appears to derail efforts by the government of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, who came to power last month, to broker a deal between the government and the protesters.

The prime minister has been working out of the V.I.P. lounge of Bangkok’s old airport because the antigovernment forces have locked him out of the prime minister’s compound.

Until now the prime minister had been publicly conciliatory toward the protesters, offering to negotiate with them. It was unclear if the arrest of Mr. Chamlong and another protest organizer, Chaiwat Sinsuwong, who was detained Friday, indicated a harder line by the government.

Mr. Somchai was quoted by the Thai news media on Sunday as saying that the police were strictly carrying out an arrest warrant and that it was “not the government’s business” to get involved.

Suriyasai Katasila, a coordinator of the protests, said Mr. Chamlong’s arrest meant that there would be “no talks with the government” and he and Mr. Chamlong’s thousands of supporters were determined to not leave the compound.

The opposition leader in Parliament, Abhisit Vejjajiva, warned Sunday that the arrest could worsen the country’s political crisis, which began about three years ago with demonstrations against the prime minister then, Thaksin Shinawatra. Mr. Thaksin was ousted in a military coup in September 2006.

Anand Panyarachun, a former prime minister, compared Mr. Chamlong’s arrest to “starting a fire.”

“It will definitely heat up the temperature, and I don’t know where it is going to lead,” Mr. Anand said after voting in the election for Bangkok governor.

Yet perhaps the most commonly heard sentiment here about the prolonged standoff between the government and the protesters is apathy.

Many Thais lament that the country is unable to move on from the political stalemate, deeply rooted in the passions of those who are in Mr. Thaksin’s camp and of those who loathe him. The prime minister, Mr. Somchai, is Mr. Thaksin’s brother-in-law.

As a measure of voter apathy, turnout in the gubernatorial election on Sunday was estimated around 54 percent, well below the level of the previous election.

The circumstances of Mr. Chamlong’s arrest suggested that he had anticipated he would be detained when he stepped outside the government compound. He left a note before he left that urged demonstrators to carry on. Some analysts suggested that Mr. Chamlong had planned his arrest as a public relations stunt to reignite support for his cause.

The arrest was almost cordial: the police allowed him to vote before detaining him and let him sit in the front seat of a police vehicle. Bangkok’s Metropolitan Police commissioner, Suchart Muangaew, bordered on apologetic in explaining the arrest.

“I want people to understand that if the police didn’t arrest the suspect when we saw him, the police might be accused of negligence,” Mr. Suchart said.

Since warrants were issued in August for Mr. Chamlong and eight other protest leaders, the police have said they will not forcibly enter the government compound to make the arrests to avoid injuring the demonstrators.

A criminal court in Bangkok was set to consider Monday whether the warrant against Mr. Chamlong and the other leaders was valid. Mr. Chamlong’s lawyers, who did not request bail on Sunday, argue that it should be dismissed because the protest does not constitute insurrection.

New York Times Oct 5,2008

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PAD leaders arrest warrants revoked

Ungelesener Beitragvon KoratCat » Do Okt 09, 2008 3:57 pm

Court grants bail to Chamlong, Chaiwat

(BangkokPost.com) - The Criminal Court granted bail to Maj Gen Chamlong Srimuang and Mr Chaiwat Sinsuwong, two of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) leaders, after appointed senator Anothai Ritthipanyawong paid their bail at 100,000 baht each.

The bail order was then delivered to Bangkok Remand Prison where Maj Gen Chamlong and Mr Chaiwat were detained. They reportedly have no objections with their release.

The Appeals Court earlier ruled to revoke the arrest warrants of all nine core members of the anti-government group on three charges of treason, conspiracy for inciting treason, and disobeying to disperse when ordered by the authority.

At the same time, PAD lawyer Suwat Apaisak said seven PAD core leaders would give in to the police if the court drops charges of insurrection against them.

Bangkok Post Oct. 9, 2008


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