Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Red Shirts, Yellow Shirts To Protest Tuesday

via CAAI

BANGKOK, April 24 (Bernama) -- The Yellow Shirts, who contributed to the downfall of the three administrations the preceded the present government, plan to hold mass rallies from tomorrow over the Thailand-Cambodia border issue.

The group wants the government to revoke the memorandum of understanding on the border signed in 2000, pull Thailand out of the Unesco World Heritage Committee, and expel Cambodians from the disputed area.

Their leader, Chamlong Srimuang, said: "Our rallies will end when the prime minister meets our demands."

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva had already declared that his government would not bow to the demands of the Yellow Shirts, led by People's Alliance for Democracy.

He said yesterday that the two countries would be left with no other option but to use force to settle their border dispute if the MoU was revoked.

Although the group is known to be strong supporters of the present administration, Abhisit considered their demands to be so unreasonable that he has accused them of really wanting to oust his government.

"Their intention is not to push for the revocation of the memorandum. Their intention is to oust the present government," Abhisit said.

The Yellow Shirts claimed that the MoU has put Thailand at a disadvantage, and they are concerned about the decision that world heritage body is expected to make in June on the management plan of the Preah Vihear Temple in Cambodia.

The management plan of the temple covered a disputed area with Thailand claiming sovereignty over 4.6 square kilometers adjacent to the 11th century temple listed as a world heritage site in 2008.

The Yellow Shirts will begin their series of rallies at Makkhawan Bridge tomorrow morning.

Police have been mobilized to safeguard important installations starting today.

"We will not allow them to seize Government House. It is illegal," said Abhisit.

To add to his headache, the Red Shirts, supporters of the previous administrations, too planned to hold a protest in the capital tomorrow.

The protest will be led by June 24 Democracy Group, a splinter group of the Red Shirts movement. It will be held at Democracy Monument, about one kilometer from the protest site of their rivals, from 5pm until midnight.

The group is demanding that the government release the 400 leaders and supporters of the Red Shirts still being detained after the May 19 military crackdown to disperse their three-month rally.

"The authorities will take care of the two protests," said Abhisit.

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