Monday, September 21, 2009

Legal Action Ordered against Those Behind Si Sa Ket Clash

UPDATE : 21 September 2009
The deputy prime minister in charge of security affairs has ordered authorities to take legal action against those who instigated unrest during the demonstration by the yellow-shirt supporters near Preah Vihear Temple over the weekend. The defence minister expresses his regret over the clash that happened.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban stated that he has assigned responsible authorities to collect evidence to take legal action against those involved in instigating unrest while the People's Alliance for Democracy, or PAD, members were calling for action over the disputed 4.6-square kilometer area near Preah Vihear Temple on Saturday.

The deputy premier denied reports that the government has a double standard on this issue.

He also commented that it was not considered a mistake that no violence occured following the government's enforcement of the Internal Security Act in Bangkok's Dusit district to maintain peace and order during the mass rally by the anti-government red-shirt group. He admitted that the government never thought that violence would occur in Si Sa Ket's Kantaralak district during the Preah Vihear protests.

In a related issue, Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan expressed his regret over the clash in Si Sa Ket on Saturday, saying he did not want to see Thai people fight one another.

He said it would not be necessary to deploy more troops at the disputed border area near the ancient temple at the moment because he has coordinated with the police, the provincial governor and related agencies to prevent such an incident from happening again.

General Prawit noted that Cambodian officials understand the situation in Thailand and both governments have always been working closely together.

Meanwhile, Senators Kamnoon Sitthisaman and Prasarn Maruekapitak censured the failure by police and soldiers to control the situation in Si Sa ket and called on the government to set up a committee to address the border dispute. The two senators also demanded the government adjust the Treaties Department's working plan on the issue.

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