Thailand to arrest ASEAN summit agitators

April 12th, 2009 - 5:14 pm ICT by ANI  

Abhisit Vejjajiva Bangkok, Apr. 12 (ANI): Beleaguered Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has tipped off legal action against protesters who forced the cancellation of the ASEAN summit.

Vejjajiva claimed that the protesters’ drive against him was illegal, and declared that pressure from “enemies of Thailand” could not make him quit.

“The government will take action against those who were involved in the incident yesterday without bias. We have won. The next three to four days will be crucial for the government to prove itself in restoring peace and order in the country,” BBC quoted Vejjajiva said, as saying.

The leader of the protesters who forced the summit’s cancellation has now been arrested, police say.

According to sources, Vejjajiva was left deeply embarrassed when protesters stormed the summit venue. The incident raised questions about his government’s ability to enforce law and order.

The summit was scrapped when supporters of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra smashed their way into the conference centre in Pattaya. There was little resistance from the security forces.

Thaksin, who remains in self-imposed exile to avoid a two-year jail term for corruption, has welcomed the protest in Pattaya.

“I thank the Red Shirts in Pattaya who showed strength. In the next few days we will see real change,” he told a rally of supporters in Bangkok by telephone on Saturday.

Protesters elated by Thaksin’s message feel that the movement against Vejjajiva had been victorious. (ANI)

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