Phuket PAD mobilizes to join Bangkok protest

PHUKET CITY (Gazette, Nation): Following the clash between People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) supporters and police outside Parliament in Bangkok early this morning, the Phuket PAD held a press conference at the ASTV office at 9 am to discuss their response.

Led by Natjarong Ekpermsup, a panel of PAD representatives told the press that the Phuket PAD will now mobilize as many Phuket PAD members as possible to join the protest in Bangkok.

“We accuse the police in Bangkok of using not only tear gas, but also war weapons against the protesters, which led to injuries that included a broken leg,” Mr Natjarong said.

“When we go up there, we will equip ourselves with gas masks, saline solution to clean our eyes and all the other things we will need to protect ourselves,” he added.

There are about 400 Phuket people protesting at Government House, some of whom are serving as “guards” at that protest site, he said.

Yesterday, Mr Natjarong told the Gazette his group had no plans to take any action until the end of the 10-day Vegetarian Festival, at which time some of its members would travel to Bangkok to join the protest.

The Vegetarian Festival ends at midnight tonight.

Over the next few days, the Phuket PAD will likely resume its “monitoring” activities at Saphan Hin, which consist of PAD supporters meeting to watch ASTV network broadcasts of events in the capital.

ASTV is owned by Sondhi Limthongkul, a core PAD supporter.

The protest in the capital has now split into a two-part siege, with some PAD protesters still encamped at Government House while some 2,000 “second-generation” protesters remain around Parliament.

Protesters are aiming to keep the new members of parliament from convening today as they are scheduled to hear recently installed Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat’s policy address.

Around dawn today, police fired 40 to 50 canisters of tear gas at more than 4,000 anti-government protesters who were blocking access to Parliament on Pichai Rd.

At least three people were seriously injured in the incident.

Police secured one entrance to the Parliament and some policemen were stationed inside the Parliament compound.

In the latest development Deputy Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh submitted his resignation to the prime minister to show responsibility over the use of force against protesters.

Phuket News

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