Suthep leads march to call on people to join mass rally this Saturday
The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) will combine its investigation into People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) moves to stop voters from casting their ballot on February 2 with allegations of insurrection, for which PDRC leaders are already facing arrest.
DSI chief Tarit Pengdith, who is also secretary of the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO), said PDRC protesters were still blocking government offices and their behaviour could be seen as a threat to government employees.
Considering additional charges
Hence, he said, the centre had invited permanent secretaries from all ministries to discuss this as well as the issuing of arrest warrants for PDRC leaders on four charges, namely unlawful entry, using coercion on others, property damage and disobeying CAPO’s orders.
Tarit said the DSI would combine the charges of allegedly violating the emergency decree and obstructing the February 2 general elections for all 58 anti-government protest leaders.
In a separate move, Suthep Thaugsuban, PDRC secretary-general, led protesters on a 5-kilometre march yesterday to call on people to join a mass rally on Saturday.
The protesters marched out of Lumpini Park at 9.30am and proceeded onto Rama IV Road, before turning left into Surawong, then on to Mahesak, then Silom before returning to Lumpini at 1.30pm.
Suthep was guarded by five rows of bodyguards as he marched through the commercial district, which was temporarily closed to traffic.
The PDRC leader said yesterday’s march was aimed at calling on people to join the rally on Saturday – the anti-government group’s first move to mobilise crowds after a month-long pause. He also promised that the safety of those joining the rally on Saturday would be ensured thanks to the 1,000 or so guards.
Suthep also insisted that the PDRC disagreed with plans to hold an election, saying reforms had to be put in place first.
Meanwhile, the Students and People’s Network for Thailand’s Reform (STR) also led a rally to the Royal Thai Police headquarters yesterday to demand that investigation into attacks against anti-government protesters be speeded up.
The march led by STR leaders Nitithorn Lamlua and Uthai Yodmanee kicked off at 10.20am at the Chamai Maruchet rally site.
STR spokesman Amorn Amornratananon said the group wanted to push police chief Pol General Adul Saengsingkaew into speeding up the investigation into violent attacks against demonstrators.