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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thaksin inciting street battles with an arrest warrant

Picture: Abhisit Vejjajiva formally endorsed by King Bhumibol Adulyadej as Prime Minister on 17 December 2008
In Monday's violence troops used tear gas and fired automatic weapons to clear demonstrators who sent buses hurtling towards lines of soldiers and torched a government ministry with petrol bombs. As night fell the army corralled about 2,500 remaining protesters behind barricades in an area around Abhisit's offices at Government House. Two men on a motorcycle opened fire at a military check point near Mahboonkrong shopping centre at 11.30pm on Monday, criticially wounding one soldier. About 2.45am Tuesday a group of men in a pickup fired at soldiers at Thukchai intersection. There were no injuries.
Picture: Thaksin supporters, in their trademark red shirts when Samak Sundaravej was in Office.
Thailand has been through weeks of chaos as Thaksin supporters, in their trademark red shirts, took to the streets to demand the resignation of Abhisit,
whom they say is in office because Thaksin allies were illegally pushed out. Thailand issued an arrest warrant Tuesday 14 April, 2009 for fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra for inciting street battles between anti-government protesters and troops that left two dead and 123 hurt. Thaksin was ousted in a coup in 2006 and is living in an unknown country to avoid a jail term for corruption, but he gave a string of video and telephone speeches to the rally calling for "revolution" over the past three weeks. Thaksin would not say when he might return. Earlier, he had asked his supporters to "come out for a revolution," saying he would lead them in a march to the capital if necessary. Thaksin spoke to CNN as clashes between protesters and police intensified Monday, the beginning of the Thai New Year. Being accused of inciting people to break the law and cause unrest he faces a charge punishable by seven years in prison.

Two red-shirt core leaders, Veera Musikhapong and Suporn Uttawong, surrendered to police on Tuesday after they told their protesting supporters to disperse and were picked up at the Misakawan intersection, near Government House where the red-shirts have been camping since March 26. The peaceful end to the protests appeared to have strengthened Abhisit, whose four-month-old government had appeared on the verge of collapse after the protesters also managed to derail a weekend Asian summit. But analysts warned that the violence had merely widened the rift between largely poor supporters of Thaksin and the government backed by the army and the Bangkok elite.

Related Posts:
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Thaksin returns to face charges today

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