Thai police chief removedNovember 28th, 2008 - 7:51 pm ICT by IANS
Bangkok, Nov 28 (Xinhua) The Thai government, facing massive opposition protest, Friday removed the country’s police chief from his post and shifted him to a relatively unimportant position.Prateep Tanprasert has taken over as the caretaker police commissioner-general in place of General Phatcharawat Wongsuwan who was shifted to the prime minister’s office.
Phatcharawat’s removal came less then 24 hours after the police was ordered to disperse anti-government protesters from the Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports of Bangkok, both of which have been closed due to the protest.
Opposition People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) has been spearheading a massive protest demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Somchai Wonsawat and have besieged the two airports to prevent the premier from returning home from a summit meeting of the Asia Pacific countries in the Peruvian capital Lima. The siege has totally disrupted air service from the two airports.
Somchai has based himself in Chiang Mai, 550 km north of Bangkok, since returning to Thailand Wednesday.
The Nation news network said “the removal revived rumours about a military coup, as speculation revolved around whether army chief Anupong Paochinda would be the next transfer target.”
The army has shown reluctance to be engaged in any drastic action against the anti-government People’s Alliance for Democracy protesters, the report said.