BANGKOK, Jan 25 -- The 'Yellow Shirt' People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) kicked off their fresh demonstration on Tuesday afternoon at Makkhawan Bridge on Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue to press the government to accept their demands over the Thai-Cambodian border disputes.
Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue between Misakawan intersection and Makkhawan Bridge was totally closed for vehicles as a stage, tents and facilities for encampment were set up.
Key PAD leader Maj-Gen Chamlong Srimuang threatened to prolong the rally nearby Government House until Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva responds to their demands.
He said firstly the government must revoke the 2000 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Thailand and Cambodia concerning their border disputes. The ultra nationalist movement claimed that the 2000 MoU puts Thailand at a disadvantage in handling such disputes with the neighbouring country.
Second, the government must withdraw from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee and remove Cambodian people from disputed border areas near Preah Vihear Temple.
Gen Chamlong stressed that there would be no negotiation with the government on its request to end the demonstration.
The former Bangkok governor said that he was well aware that the rally would affect the traffic and student access to schools as there are many schools around the protest site, but he asked for understanding as the issue of territorial integrity was very important.
The PAD co-leader said that he is unworried about the security measures even though the seizure of home-made bombs and ammunition, and the arrest of five men claiming that they have targeted causing trouble at the demonstration.
Gen Chamlong said he believes the capability of the police and the cooperation on the security measures to ensure the safety of the protesters.
Security has been tightened around Government House where 24 companies of police -- some 4,000 personnel -- were deployed early Tuesday to ensure law and order. (MCOT online news)