CMPO’s wings clipped by Civil Court’s ruling

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BANGKOK, Feb 25 – Thailand’s Civil Court ruling prohibiting the authorities from taking harsh action against anti-government protesters has disrupted the peace-keeping operation of the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO), according to a senior security official.

Tarit Pengdith, a CMPO member and director general of the Department of Special Investigation, said CMPO has suspended its move to reclaim public areas occupied by protesters of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) following the court’s verdict last week.

He said the authorities could only take photos of PDRC activities for legal action in the future, adding that protesters yesterday seized five government buildings, including the Customs Department, Foreign Ministry, Energy Ministry, Finance Ministry and Revenue Department.

They also sealed off Voice TV station and M-Link Asia Corporation Plc, he said.

He said the CMPO would submit photos of the PDRC activities to the Appeals Court to ask for more power in dealing with protesters following restrictions by the Civil Court.

CMPO yesterday adjusted its assignment of police personnel keeping public order in the capital and assigned 2,000 more police officers to provide safety for the public, said Mr Tarit.

He said the document to extradite Indian businessman Satish Sehgal from Thailand is awaiting approval from the CMPO after which it would be delivered to the Immigration Department for final action.

Mr Satish was charged with co-leading PDRC anti-government activities.

Mr Tarit said arrest warrants were issued for 124 people in connection with disrupting the Feb 2 general election, involving a total of 355 cases.