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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  31 March 2014  

Suthep leads PDRC march in major rally calling for reform before election

 BANGKOK, March 29 -- The anti-government protesters of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) were led by Suthep Thaugsuban on a Saturday march around Bangkok streets from Lumpini Park to the Royal Plaza and Parliament, before returning to Lumpini Park, to affirm its stance that reforms must be carried out before any general election.
Mr Suthep led supporters on the march at around 9.30am from PDRC protest site at Lumpini Park and arrived at the Royal Plaza at around 12.40pm.
He paid respects to the King Rama V Equestrian Monument and announced the PDRC's intention to devote themselves to rid Thailand of what they called the Thaksin regime and pushed for political reform for a genuine, perfect democracy.
He also reiterated that the group would carry out their campaign peacefully, and without arms.
After that, Mr Suthep led the supporters to Parliament to pay respects to the King Rama VII statue in front of that building.
Mr Suthep announced that the PDRC would not allow Parliament to reopen before political reforms have been completed.
The PDRC secretary general then led PDRC supporters to return to Lumpini Park through U-thong Nai, Ratchavithi, Rama VI, Urupong, Phetchaburi, Pratunam, and Lang Suan roads.
The group arrived back at Lumpini Park at around 6pm.
Meanwhile, at around 11.50am, the Network of Students and People for the Reform of Thailand (NSPRT), an ally group of PDRC, broke into the Government House compound.
Nititorn Lamlua, NSPRT advisor, and Uthai Yodmanee, NSPRT coordinator, led protesters who staged a rally at Chamai Maruchet Bridge near the Government House, into the compound.
They had told protesters not to enter into the buildings.
The NSPRT leaders changed the national flag that flew on top of the building and brought Buddha images Phra Buddha Chinnarat and Phra Chai Lang Chang to the Thai Khu Fah building, the office of caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
They said that the move was their first symbolic step for changing Government House to be the People's House and it would also be the beginning of the people power revolution for politcial reform.
The NSPRT later left the Government House at 5.30pm. However, the leaders said that from now on, they would organise activities at the Government House everyday, allowing the public to participate in the events.
An M-79 grenade landed on Sawankhalok Road, some 100 meters away from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Si Ayutthaya Road.
The explosion reportedly damaged two cars, but resulted in no injuries. An Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit inspected the scene and found more than 10 fragments of the explosive device which could confirm that it was an M-79 grenade.
The bomb experts believed that it was launched from the direction of Upai intersection. It was believed that the attackers wanted to create chaos, as the PDRC supporters had just marched at the site a short time before.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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