Firms funding PDRC rallies under scrutiny : DSI chief says

national January 28, 2014 00:00

By Anapat Deechuay
The Nation

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Companies will be warned in writing to stop providing support to protesters

THE CENTRE for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) has blacklisted some 30 large corporations for providing financial support to the anti-government protest led by Suthep Thaugsuban’s People’s Democratic Reform Committee, Department of Special Investigation (DSI) chief Tarit Pengdith said yesterday.

The CMPO has commissioned the Anti-Money Laundering Office and the DSI to scrutinise the companies’ financial transactions, Tarit said, adding that the authorities would send them written warnings demanding that they stop providing support to the protesters.

Initial reports received by the DSI showed that Bt200 million in financial support had been transferred to the protest’s catering |operation under the name of Krua Rajdamnoen, according to Tarit.

He did not disclose the names of the big companies thought to be financing the anti-government protest, however.

The support was made in many forms, not only cash but also shelters, vehicles, equipment and other facilities, Tarit said.

The DSI chief added that the CMPO had asked the mass media to cooperate by not circulating provocative or intimidating messages, which was a violation of the Emergency Decree.

The CMPO urged people affected by the anti-government protest to lodge complaints with police in order to be eligible for compensation from the authorities after the political crisis is over, he said. Petition documents could also be used to claim compensation from insurers, he said.

At a meeting with the CMPO yesterday, the DSI reported that it has charged 58 leaders of the PDRC and would ask the court to issue arrest warrants for 16 of them, including top leader Suthep, he said.

The CMPO and the PDRC are at odds in the political conflict, as the latter has demanded the government of Yingluck Shinawatra step down so that the PDRC can set up an unelected caretaker government to reform the country before an election is held.

In response to the protests, the government declared a state of emergency last week to control the situation in Bangkok and its outskirts. The protesters have sought a court ruling to end the state of emergency.

Emergency rule ‘illegitimate’

Thaworn Senneam, a leader of the PDRC and former Democrat MP, yesterday filed the suit at the Civil Court accusing the government of declaring a state of emergency without legitimacy, and requesting an injunction against |it.

He said the Constitutional Court had ruled that the PDRC protest is lawful since it is unarmed and peaceful.

Thus, he said, the government does not need to impose the state of emergency, which restricts the protesters’ rights.

Thaworn said he had to file the suit with the Civil Court because the emergency decree does not allow him to bring the case to the Administrative Court.

PDRC leaders would not lead the protesters based at the Victory Monument site to lay siege to any state premises, as they fear for the protesters’ safety, Thaworn said.

He added that police deployed to keep security at the protest site had been withdrawn, as police feared they could face legal action for supporting illegal protests after the imposition of the state of emergency.

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