Anti-Thaksin group to march to British embassy

Saturday, August 16, 2008 by Editor

The anti-government People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) plans to march to the British embassy here on Tuesday to rebut critical remarks made by Thailand's fugitive ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra against the Thai judiciary system, a PAD core member said Saturday.

Pipop Thongchai, a core leader of the PAD, said the protest coalitions members and supporters would march from the Makkawan Bridge to the British Embassy with the purpose of explaining to the international community that charges made by Mr. Thaksin against the Thai judiciary system were untrue.

Mr. Pipop said he would also explain to the embassy that Mr. Thaksin, his wife Mrs. Pojaman and the ousted cabinet ministers are also facing charges pending in court.

Booted from office in a bloodless coup on Sept 19, 2006, multi-billionaire Thaksin and his wife flew from Beijing to London, bypassing a court date in Bangkok, after attending the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

They failed to appear on Monday at the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions to defend themselves against charges related to the Bangkok land scandal which occurred in 2003 while he was in power.

In a statement faxed to media outlets in Bangkok on Monday from London, Mr. Thaksin cited his personal safety concerns and interference in the judicial process by political forces set against him among the reasons for his fleeing Thailand.

The Court on Monday issued arrest warrants for the couple and also confiscated bail totaling Bt13 million (US$389,000).

Praising the Thai judicial system on the case, Mr. Pipop said more foreign investors are now hoping to invest in Thailand because they are gaining more confidence in doing business in this country.

He ehphasised that the planned march to the embassy in central Bangkok would be peaceful.

Meanwhile, national police chief Pol. Gen. Patcharawat Wongsuwan said he had ordered Bangkok police to be patient and provide security to the PAD members while the gather at the British embassy.

Gen. Patcharawat said concerned Thai government agencies are now trying to extradite Mr. Thaksin to face trial here and that there is no need for the PAD to pressure the agencies. (TNA)