BANGKOK, Jan 27 – Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban said Cambodian gunmen might be involved in the murder of the fourth anti-government protester in Bang-na area yesterday.
Suthin Tarathin, a staunch, leading protester, was shot dead and five others injured as they blockaded the advance election at the polling booth at Wat Sri-eam. It was believed that they were shot by gunmen from the rooftop of nearby buildings.
Mr Suthep, secretary general of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), told demonstrators at the Pathumwan rally site that he suspected the gunmen may have been hired from the Cambodian Special Warfare Unit.
If not, they could be Thai gunmen who were paid to attack the protesters, he said, describing caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, and her elder brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra as extremely cruel.
“We were informed that about 80 snipers, armed with rifles, were on rooftops, waiting to attack PDRC core leaders,” he said.
Mr Suthep said it was another painful day when Mr Suthin was killed – the fourth victim by “tyrants who are ready to kill others to stay in power.” He declared that protesters would not give up their to eradicate the Thaksin regime.
“They were killed and injured in a broad daylight attack just because they wanted to protest against the election. Police failed to arrest anyone in connection with the attack,” he said.
“I don’t trust the police any more. The gunmen might have been sent back to their country, or they may be protected by the (Thai) police.”
He called on commanders of the three armed forces to assign military personnel to protect people who have been exercising their constitutional rights.
“I’m not asking the military to stage a coup, but to protect innocent people and stand aside the people. Please informed the military chiefs that people were asking for protection,” he said.
He said rescheduling the Feb 2 general election, whether for 10 days, or for three to six months, was not the PDRC’s objective.
“We want a national reform without politicians’ intervention. It’s useless to postpone the election. We stress that Ms Yingluck and the Cabinet must resign and a people’s assembly must be set up,” said Mr Suthep.