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Thaiger Briefing – June 11

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Protests

House Speaker confirms agreement for special parliamentary session

Maya Taylor

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House Speaker confirms agreement for special parliamentary session | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

The Speaker of the lower house of Parliament has confirmed that there is cross-party agreement for an extraordinary parliamentary session to be convened in the wake of the ongoing political unrest in Thailand. Chuan Leekpai has notified PM Prayut Chan-o-cha of the agreement to hold the special session in a bid to seek a resolution to the conflict. Anti-government protests have been taking place all over the country since mid-July and, while all have been peaceful, rallies are increasing in size and frequency. Activists are pitching a 10-point manifesto, with demands including the resignation of the PM, the dissolution of parliament and the holding of fresh elections, as well as a re-drafting of the constitution.

In his letter to the PM, Chuan calls on the cabinet to back the announcement of a Royal Decree, which will declare the opening of the special session. He proposes an initial general debate, with no voting requirement, so that MPs and senators can express their opinions and work to find a solution to the current impasse. The PM has already voiced his support for an extraordinary session of parliament.

Meanwhile, a number of opposition figures are calling for the state of emergency imposed on Bangkok to be lifted, declaring its implementation illegal and unnecessary. They are threatening legal action against the government if this proves to be the case, with the Pheu Thai Party renewing its calls for the PM’s resignation.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Chon Buri

Pickup truck crashes into elephant as herd runs across Chon Buri road

Caitlin Ashworth

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Pickup truck crashes into elephant as herd runs across Chon Buri road | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Matichon

A herd of wild elephants running across a road in Chon Buri caused a driver to crash into an elephant, damaging his Isuzu pickup truck and injuring a 20 year old passenger.

34 year old Sompong Duangknam says he was heading to the province’s Ban Ang Kraden district when a group of about 20 elephants ran out of the forest and cut in front of his truck. He says he couldn’t stop in time and crashed into an elephant.

The injured animal didn’t stop and continued to run across the road, following the rest of the herd into the forest, the driver says. Local officials are tracking the elephant’s footprints to find the injured elephant and give it medical treatment.

The village chief Kittipong Kittikul visited Sompong after the incident and said there are many wild elephants in the area and they often damage local farms. The chief says he will send officers to the area to help control the wild animals.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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Protests

Opposition MPs petition for Bangkok State of Emergency to be lifted

Maya Taylor

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Opposition MPs petition for Bangkok State of Emergency to be lifted | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.nandy0140.com

A group of opposition MPs and other activists will today petition to have the emergency decree currently in force in Bangkok rescinded. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha imposed the state of emergency last week, in the wake of escalating political unrest in the capital. Now a number of Pheu Thai MPs and other opponents of the decree are calling on the Civil Court to retract it.

One of those petitioning for the state of emergency to be rescinded, is the President of the Lawyers’ Association of Thailand, Narinphong Jinaphak. He says enforcement of the decree is illegal and that there is nothing to justify it, pointing out that political rallies have been peaceful, and protesters have acted within the confines of the law. He also points out that the Thai Constitution guarantees citizens the right to assemble.

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post reports that Cholnan Srikaew, Pheu Thai MP for the northern province of Nan, has described the PM’s announcement of the emergency decree in the early hours of last Thursday as illegitimate. He adds that should the court decide the state of emergency is unlawful, the group may sue the government for having declared it.

The group is also petitioning for an interim injunction, to prevent authorities from using the emergency decree against protesters, while the court considers whether to revoke it altogether.

Meanwhile, national police chief, Suwat Jangyodsuk, says officers are still under orders to avoid the use of force when dealing with protesters, in order to protect them and the general public. He denies that water cannons used to disperse a protest in Bangkok on Friday contained chemical substances known to cause irritation.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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