Government reaffirms no violence against anti-govt protesters

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BANGKOK, Nov 10 – The government can still handle anti-government demonstrations and no violence will be used against protesters, said Deputy Prime Minister Pol Gen Pracha Promnok on Sunday.

The deputy premier who oversees national security made his remarks following claim of Democrat MP Suthep Thaugsuban that the anti-government protesters will be “targeted by snipers.”

Pracha said Mr Suthep’s claim was aimed at inciting the public to come out and join the protests.

He reaffirmed that the government would not use violence against demonstrators and live ammunition would not be used in any security operations.

He added that the situation was still under control and that no army personnel was needed.

Pheu Thai MP and red shirt core leader Natthawut Saikua today revealed he has been informed that the Democrat Party will mobilise crowds from upcountry to its rally site at Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Avenue on Monday.

He claimed that the group planned to move the protesters to block Government House on Tuesday after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) reads its verdict relating to the interpretation of the Preah Vihear case.

The Department of Special Investigation chief Tharit Pengdit warned anti-government protesters and their financial supporters that they are committing serious offences which affect national security.

The director-general said that protest leaders still continued their rallies although the government and its coalition have ratified an agreement to stop pushing the amnesty law after the senate’s anticipated vote to reject the controversial bill on Monday.

He said protests proceeded under the law at an early stage of the anti-government movement, but he expressed concern over possible violence after the protest leaders announced they would intensify their moves.

Meanwhile, an ABAC Poll released on Sunday reported that 72.1 per cent of respondents have lost their confidence in the Pheu Thai-led coalition government, while 86.9 per cent said they wanted politicians from all parties to adhere to democratic rules, not using them as political gamesmanship.

Also, 89 per cent said they wanted peace to return to the country and that all parties should join hands to develop the country.

In a related development, about 1,500 supporters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) from the northeastern province of Buriram gathered with fellow red shirts in Muangthong Thani area of northern Bangkok today amid tight security.

Pheu Thai MP for Buriram Noodaeng Wannakangsai said protesters wanted to show their support for their elected government after the anti-amnesty bill protests intensified attempts to topple the Yingluck Shinawatra administration.

Many UDD leaders were scheduled to address the crowds tonight, including Weng Tojirakan, Thida Thavornsreth, Jatuporn Promphan, Natthawut Saikua, Veerakarn Musikapong, as well as Pheu Thai MP Vorachai Hema.