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Police closely monitoring anti-coup network overseas

Police are keeping a close eye on an anti-coup movement set up by pro-Thaksin Shinawatra former MPs and other Thais who fled the country when the military took over, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) said yesterday.

People fleeing NCPO summonses will face extradition if the countries they are hiding in have an extradition treaty with the Kingdom, NCPO spokesman Colonel Songphol Watthanachai said, adding that Interpol has been asked to help.

He went on to say that police were working with public prosecutors to seek their extradition.

The authorities are also trying to reach an understanding with those who continue with their action against the coup, he said, adding that everybody was entitled to express their opinions but not by communicating with the public via symbolic gestures.

"Anybody who purposely violates the [military] law will face legal action," he warned.

Meanwhile, the newly formed Organisation of Free Thais for Human Rights and Democracy plans to set up a "public" office overseas, most likely in one of five countries in the West, as it works to lobby for international support.

Speaking in Hong Kong yesterday, former politician Jakrapob Penkair said the group he co-founded was in the midst of negotiations to set up a permanent office. Jakrapop is in self-imposed exile as he faces charges of lese majeste if he returns home.

"We have to work from the outside in," Jakrapob said in a speech at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents Club. "It is a lesser preference but that is the way it has to be."

Setting up the group's headquarters overseas fits with its current strategy to secure more international support in its efforts to remove the military government that took over on May 22.

"This organisation we launched, started small. We did not even know that Thaksin would be supporting this. We did not consult him," he said.

The goal, he said, was to fight for fairness and justice for all people in Thailand - especially the majority living in the North and Northeast - a stance that was also supported by Thaksin's legal adviser Robert Amsterdam.

However, Thai consul-general in Hong Kong Aroon Jivasakapimas was visibly upset by the comments and suggested afterwards that much of what was said were "lies" and that the Army had stepped in to prevent further violence.


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