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First rally leader arrested

Sonthiyarn Chuenruethai-naitham, owner and director of T news agency, on Monday became the first anti-government rally leader to be arrested. He was walking in the Central Lat Phrao shopping complex when he was stopped by police.

Sonthiyarn, a former leader of now-defunct yellow-shirt movement, was charged with sedition and escorted to the Border Patrol Police Region 1 in Pathum Thani province where he will be detained.

Arrest warrants have been issued for many rally leaders, including Suthep Thaugsuban, secretary general of People's Democratic Reform Committee, for their involvement in the rallies but Sonthiyarn is the first to be actually arrested.

Earlier Chalerm Yoobamrung, director of the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order, said Sonthiyarn was the only wanted leader who was residing in a condominium. The 18 other leaders are being shielded by taking refuge in the protest sites.

Other "stars" of the rally are also facing arrest, Chalerm said. "I want to tell Mr Suthep that I will no longer tolerate what he has done, laying siege to many government offices and chasing away officials who wanted to work. That's beyond acceptable and I will use the law to handle the situation," he said.


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