วันพฤหัสบดีที่ 22 เมษายน พ.ศ. 2553
Red Shirts urge UN to dispatch peacekeeping troops to guard protesters
BANGKOK, April 22 (TNA) – Anti-government protesters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) on Thursday submitted a petition to the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, urging him to send peacekeeping troops to help protect the Red Shirts.
Several hundred Red Shirt protesters led by Weng Tojirakarn arrived the UN headquarters in Bangkok before noon, while a large number of riot police have been deployed to maintain order there.
UDD key leader Weng earlier announced to the red-shirted supporters rallying at the capital’s prime commercial area of Ratchaprasong for the third week that they will seek protection of UN peacekeeping troops to prevent Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban from ordering the killing of the empty-handed protesters.
Mr Weng claimed it is obvious that the Abhisit government intended to harm the people.
At the same time, some 20 members of parliament of the Opposition Puea Thai Party on Thursday submitted a letter urging the UN secretary-general to investigate alleged human rights violations of the Thai government in the April 10 incident.
The opposition MPs said the Abhisit government’s operation in dispersing the crowd was not compliant with international standard practices.
They said the government should use trained riot police in the operation instead of army troops.
The MPs also accused the Abhisit government of distorting information over the clashes, and called for a probe.
Twenty-five people were killed while more than were 800 injured in day-long clashes between military personnel and Red Shirt protesters on April 10, in the army’s mission to retake the protest site after the UDD supporters encamped there, demanding the premier to dissolve the House, since March 14.
Severe casualties occurred in the clash at Khok Wua intersection on Ratchadamnoen Avenue where an unidentified group of gunmen fired grenades and bullets at both protesters and soldiers.
The prime minister said after the incident that the unidentified group of gunmen are “terrorists” and that they mingled with the protesters to incite chaos, pledging to stay on to carry out the investigation and distinguish innocent protesters from the terrorists. (TNA)