Phuket yellow shirts in wild show of patriotism over Cambodia

PHUKET: About 30 local yellow-shirt activists yesterday put on a show in the center of Phuket Town mocking the Thai government’s handling of the recent arrest and trial of seven Thais by the Cambodian authorities.

The People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) members also denounced Cambodian premier Hun Sen, claiming the Thais were arrested on land that belongs to Thailand.

The performance took place at Surin “Clocktower” Circle from 4pm and attracted interest from many passers-by who pulled over to see what was going on.

Led by Phuket PAD leaders Aparat Chartchutikumjorn and Krit Thepbamrung, the group started their activities with a satirical play.

The first part of the performance showed Thai Defense Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan giving away Thai land to Hun Sen.

The group then performed a ceremony cursing the Cambodian PM for alleged crimes against Thai people and the country.

The bizarre ritual involved writing Hun Sen’s name on a chicken egg and throwing it into a paper box. The group stamped their feet, shouting, “Hun Sen must go to hell! Thailand must win!”

The group also distributed leaflets claiming Thailand was about to lose territory to Cambodia. They read a statement criticizing Hun Sen’s behavior and the Thai government’s handling of the issue.

The statement said that PAD members had been following the situation closely since the group’s arrest on December 29.

The statement claimed that Cambodian soldiers had arrested the Thais on Thai territory, in violation of treaties between the two countries.

It said the Cambodian authorities had violated the group’s human rights and that the Cambodian court process was not being carried out according to international standards.

It accused the Cambodians of breaking international law, violating Thai sovereignty and showing heavy contempt for Thai nationhood.

The statement also attacked the Thai government, singling out Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya and Defense Minister Gen Prawit for criticism.

It also said government officials in charge of the border issue had been neglectful and weak in their diplomatic dealings with the Cambodian side.

Thailand should be using its power to pressure the Cambodians into releasing the seven. In both its handling of the arrests and the border issue in general, the government had played second-best to Cambodia, it said.

The statement called for the government to change its position and help the group return to Thailand safely. It also called on the government to take the border issue seriously in order to “defend the Kingdom’s honor”.

— The Nation

Phuket News

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