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Surapong rejects attempt to divide Thailand

Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul on Monday called on the army and police to avoid double standards in dealing with red shirt protesters in northern Thailand.

He said the proposal to separate Thailand was only the opinions of certain groups of people who are frustrated at the opposition's attempt to divide people and foster hatred for each other among Thai citizens.

Surapong, caretaker foreign minister and chief adviser of the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO), was referring to a call by some pro-government supporters to separate the north and the northeast into a new country.

"Sor Por Por Lanna" belongs to the Democracy Support and Protection Group, and it is not an abbreviation of People's Democratic Republic Lanna as has been incorrectly understood, said Surapong in his defence of the widely-criticised Sor Por Por Lanna group.

He said it was impossible to stop some people from expressing their ideas but "we have to be impartial and we will not allow any factions to instigate and create conflicts."

Surapong said police and military personnel should be patient and perform their duties fairly while avoiding allegations of double standard.

He said he would raise the army chief's concerns at the protest situation in the North in the CMPO meeting.

Surapong called on anti-government protesters to move out of several rally venues in the capital to pave the way for police and military personnel to maintain public order and safety.


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