With several updates: Defiant and peaceful

4 04 2010

Update: PPT has added photos to this report, provided by our reader who sent the report we posted here. This blog is also a useful account.

The BBC reports (4 April 2010): Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has “appeared on TV to urge the protesters to end their rally, saying they were violating security laws.  He called on protesters to stop blocking roads.” However, the red shirt protesters remain defiant, “ignoring deadlines to end their … protest.” Importantly, the BBC’s Rachel Harvey says that “there is also no sign of security forces and the atmosphere is still good-natured and peaceful.”

Dennis Gray at AP (4 April 2010) says that some of the protesters “showed signs of fatigue. To escape the scorching sun, weary protesters huddled in the shade of an entrance way to a closed shopping mall.” However, he cites one northeaster protester as praising the red shirt leaders: “I’m impressed by the leaders. They’ve shown the tough stuff that we so need…. For the government’s part, their effort has been futile. What else can they do to us? We’re told what we’re doing is legal. I’m not going to give up so easily. We only live once.”

Update: In the Bangkok Post (4 April 2010), Abhisit is again quoted as saying: “Staging a mass demonstration in the middle of the road violates the rights of others and is unlawful…”. It seems odd to make this claim when long stretches of road have been closed for some time in the Rajadamnoen area for what Abhisit has repeatedly described as a lawful demonstration. The government is seeking a court order to have the red shirts removed from the Rajaprasong area. When the People’s Alliance for Democracy faced such court orders they generally stayed put.

Meanwhile, the “Peace-keeping Operations Command … issued another order which would block red shirts protesters from staging protests in Silom and Sathorn areas.” The roads involved included Silom, Charoenkrung, Surawongse, Rama IV and Ratchadapisek. POC spokesman Colonel Sansern Kaewkamnered “appeared in a TV-pool programme at about 4.10pm, detailing lists of roads where ‘suspected instigators’ are prohibited to enter.” Colonel Sansern stated that anyone who wanted to “enter the prohibited sites have to get permission from authorities concerned,” or risk a one-year jail term and/or a fine. Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban signed the order as “director of the Security Operations Command.”



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