Phuket protesters ignore Chalerm’s order to open government offices
PHUKET: Phuket protesters stand united in defying an order from Bangkok to re-open all government offices on February 6.
Chalerm Yoobamrung, caretaker Labor Minister and director of the Center for Maintaining Peace and Order, issued the order yesterday.
“I don’t care what Chalerm said, we are not under his control,” said Phuket protest leader Amnuay Kumban this morning.
“We will maintain our blockade of Phuket Provincial Hall and Phuket Revenue Office until Suthep Thaugsuban orders us to allow them to re-open. Our actions are in support of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee [PDRC] protesters in Bangkok.”
Other government offices in Phuket have been allowed to quietly re-open, a decision that has caused a split among the anti-government protesters in Phuket.
Protest leader Suratin Lian-udom has announced that he no longer supports the lenient strategy of coordinators Theerawut Sritularak and Mr Amnuay.
“Mr Amnuay and Mr Theerawut have sometimes made too many allowances for officers, letting them enter buildings to go to work. I think we should be more firm,” he explained.
“We have different ideas about how to manage the Phuket protests, and I feel uncomfortable working with people who have different ideas, that’s why I decided to leave the group.
“However, I still have the same goal as Mr Suthep – to stop the people who want to destroy our Kingdom.”
Mr Amnuay played down the split.
“It’s normal for people who work together to have different styles. The important thing is, we’re still working for the same company,” he said.
“Mr Suratin has different ideas, but he still has the same objective as we do.”
Mr Chalerm vowed that those blocking government offices on February 6 would be arrested.
— Saran Mitrarat
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