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PAD & the Occupation of Government House - Page 2
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  1. #11
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    Re: PAD Demo: PM- Patience near the end

    Thai and Asian press freedom watchdogs condemn raid on NBT

    Thai and Asian press freedom watchdogs condemn People's Alliance for Democracy-led protesters' seizure of a state-run television station on Tuesday.

    "The forced closure of Thailand's National Broadcasting Television (NBT) on 26 August 2008, is unjustifiable and goes against the principles of democracy, free flow of information, and fair play that the protesters themselves have invoked to justify their illegal act," according to the statement.

    The compound of the NBT was raided by a group of armed men claiming to represent the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD). Journalists and staff of the NBT were forced to suspend their work and broadcasts.

    The protesters said they raided the station because it was a mouthpiece of government. "In truth, all they achieved was to obstruct the flow of information to the public," said the statement.

    SEAPA, the TJA, the Thai Broadcast Journalists Association (TBJA) and the Confederation of Thai Journalists, said: "The mob action is one of the gravest and most blatant assaults on media freedom to date. The media was threatened, intimidated and kept from performing their duty."

    SEAPA is one with the Thai journalism community in finding the demonstrators' raid on NBT "unacceptable".

    The use of force to gain control of NBT's compound and facilities, and the cutting of the station's broadcasts is, as TJA notes, not only an illegal attack on a government facility, but equally an assault on a media organization.

    This perpetuates a culture of intolerance and denigrates the values of plurality as well as the safety of journalists, both of which are crucial to genuine press freedom and the free flow of information. Against this, even the protesters' argument that NBT is a "government mouthpiece" can in no way justify their deplorable behaviour.

    SEAPA joins the Thai journalist organizations in respecting the right of Thais to peaceful and unarmed assembly under the current Constitution.

    Seapa is a coalition of press freedom advocacy groups from Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.

    The Nation

  2. #12
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  3. #13
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    Re: Protestors Storm TV Station

    NBT is still on air at the moment but it is not their normal studio. Possibly a corner of a conference hall in a hotel. During the day they lost their signal a few times but did a pretty good job of giving a live broadcast from various locations.

    What is surprising is that only a few channels bothered to give live pictures of the major events from today. Things are not over. Some news programmes are reporting roads leading to and from Bangkok have been blocked. We keep getting rumours about the army have left their barracks - but it is doubtful that is true.

    At the moment, things could go either way tonight. If the police use force and there is bloodshed (don't forget weaspons were found at the NBT studios today) then this could trigger the army to make a move.

  4. #14
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    Re: Protestors Storm TV Station

    I went to Chinatown and then travelled along Rama 4 road to Sathorn Road, Immigration office to apply for the Re-entry permit at around 3pm and the journey was pretty smooth. No jam at all.

    I only heard some reports on the radio that there're mobs going on and some demonstrators are blocking some road. Virgin radio was off the air I think.

  5. #15
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    Re: PAD Demo: PM- Patience near the end

    Sondhi declares victory

    (BangkokPost.com) - People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) core leader Sondhi Limthongkul announced victory on Tuesday evening after PAD supporters broke into the Government House.

    Mr Sondhi also vowed to rally at the government compound until Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and his cabinet are toppled.

    "I will not leave the Government House until there is any political change," he spoke to about 30,000 supporters. "If they want to take me out, they will have to kill me and drag my body out of here."

    He vowed to stay with his supporters, and said they will continue to stay on as long as it takes until the government steps down.

    He, however, declared that the protesters will not enter the Thai Ku Fah building nor will they damage the government property.

  6. #16
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    Re: PM - Patience near the end

    Protesters will be dispersed in 24 hours: Gov't spokesman


    Police are expected to complete clearing protesters off the grounds of Government House within 24 hours, government spokesman Wichianchot Sukchotrat said on Tuesday.

    "Government House will open for business no later than Wednesday and everything will be backed to normal in 24 hours," he said, voicing confidence that police could evict protesters.

    The crowds would be dispersed and the prime minister deems the situation unwarranted to declare a state of emergency, he said.

    The Nation

  7. #17
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    Re: PM - Patience near the end

    PAD moves protesters from NBT to Government House


    The People's Alliance for Democracy moved its protesters from NBT Channel to Government House at 5 pm.

    The NBT stopped occupying the NBT head office apparently after it failed to block NBT from airing its programmes from somewhere else and the PAD failed to hack through security system of the station to relay signal from ASTV as initially planned.

    The Nation

  8. #18
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    Re: Protestors Storm TV Station

    The prime minister was just live on NBT television. Surprisingly, it was a "meet the international press" session and it was all in English. Other channels ran it live for about five minutes but soon realized that there was't going to be any translations. NBT continued with the live broadcast for about 35 minutes. Samak actually did quite a good job at explaining the situation. He explained the background details and how this minority of people were trying to bring down an elected government. He then accepted questions from the international press. Again he did a good job at answering the questions and just about kept his temper even when one of the reporters asked whether he was a proxy of Thaksin. They also asked him about the fire truck scandal. Samak made it clear that the protestors at government house will be cleared within hours and that the leaders will be arrested.

  9. #19
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    Re: Protestors Storm TV Station

    Traffic was very heavy in Petchburi Rd this afternoon. I saw probably a dozen big trucks loaded with PAD supporters heading East being escorted by a large contingent of police cars, lights flashing and sirens sounding at times. One bystander suggested they were heading to the airport, but rumours are rife in the city at present, most of them have no basis in truth.

    Our boy's school was closed at 2.30pm and parents were requested by SMS to collect their children ASAP.

    Schools in Bangkok will be closed tomorrow.

  10. #20
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    Re: Major Protest Rally in Bangkok

    The protestors are still at Government House although the 6 p.m. deadline has passed. At the main rally site, thousands of people have joined the protest and it is continuing to grow.

    The police report that they found weapons and drugs left by the protestors at the NBT studios. I doubt very much anyone would have left drugs. It sounds like it is a set-up.
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