April 26, 2014 00:00 By Somroutai Sapsomboon,
Shift from Lumpini Park likely soon, source says; govt warns of arrests
Anti-government protesters will move from Lumpini Park back to the Democracy Monument to make a final push for an appointed prime minister and reform, a source said yesterday.
“We maintain the same stance to oppose the election until there is reform. We will disrupt the poll again whenever it is held,” the source said.
Anti-government protesters, led by Suthep Thaugsuban of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, yesterday marched from Lumpini Park to Thai Airways’ headquarters at Vibhavadi Road, where they received a warm welcome from most of the national flag carrier’s staff.
The airline’s acting director Chockchai Panyayong, other THAI executives and the carrier’s labour union chief Damrong Waikani greeted Suthep and the other protesters upon their arrival and gave them black T-shirts and purple scarves as gifts.
A lot of staff donated money and gave them roses to support the movement.
Suthep asked staff to join the movement to oust Yingluck Shinawatra’s government.
“I’m sad to know that Thai Airways has had a low performance over past years due to political intervention in management,” he said.
Jamsri Sukchotrat, an adviser to the labour union, said the airline would support the anti-government movement so as to have “good politicians” ruling the country.
“We will continue our opposition to the privatisation [of the airline],” she said. “I believe if we have good politicians to run the country, the state-run airline would be healthy.”
Over the past week, Suthep visited many state enterprises calling for support.
He said earlier he would announce a new plan for a big rally next Wednesday.
Labour Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung, who heads the government’s Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO), said yesterday that he would soon order a “round-up” to arrest leaders of the anti-government who created trouble.
The move follows a spat of violence including a bomb blast on Thursday at the head office of the Daily News newspaper.
“I will make the final decision soon to arrest trouble-makers,” he said. “If anything happens after the round-up, let it happen,” he said.
The public prosecutor recently finished compiling cases against anti-government protesters and is prepared to prosecute 80 people for causing trouble, according Sirima Sunawin of the CAPO.