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PAD & the Occupation of Government House - Page 43
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  1. #421
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    Re: PAD & the Occupation of Government House

    Leaders of pro-government demonstrators threaten to lead provincial people to crush PAD


    Two leaders of pro-government groups threatened late Friday night to lead 40,000 people from Chiang Rai and Udon Thani to crush the People's Alliance for Democracy-led protesters next month.

    Kwanchai Praiphana, leader of pro-government people in Udon Thani, and Uthai Saenkaew, leader of pro-government people in Chiang Rai, made the threat at 10:45 pm during a demonstration held at Sanam Luang by the Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship.

    The two said the PAD must leave the Government House before October 10 or else they would be forced out by the government supporters from the two provinces.

    However, only hundreds joined the Sanam Luang rally late Friday night.

    The Nation

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    Re: PAD & the Occupation of Government House

    Bureaucrats chased out of their offices
    By Anan Paengnoy

    The Sunday Nation

    Nearly one month after Government House was seized by protesters, more than 3,000 officials who are forced to work elsewhere complain about hardship, limited workspace and negative effects on their personal lives.

    At one location, on the third floor of an 11-storey building in Soi Aree off Phaholyothin Road, 200 staff from the Consumer Protection Board are packed into a small room, where there are 10 chairs available for 40 desks.

    "It's like musical chairs. Your seat is taken immediately you move away," said Nirote Jaroenprakob, a deputy director-general.

    Jullayuth Hiranyawasit, ministry permanent secretary, said the rest worked on the floor and took turns using computers.

    Many documents need immediate processing due to their legal nature.

    He added that board staff had disguised themselves as People's Alliance for Democracy members and sneaked into Government House to retrieve documents.

    However, since Friday they have been unable to do so. PAD guards spotted them.

    A staff member who gave her name only as Duangporn said the PAD refused to allow out documents about investment deals or government trade contracts with foreign countries.

    She said it was extremely difficult to coordinate with other agencies or private businesses because details were in the compound.

    She said many staff had problems getting to the new government office at Don Mueang airport.

    "Travel patterns of their whole families are changed drastically, including more time needed to get longer distances. Many tell me they have had to enrol children in new schools nearer the airport," she added.

    Another staff member who called himself Somsak said he was once proud to work where he could meet prime ministers and national politicians. Now he felt like crying. "How could this have happened? The headquarters of the entire administration has been seized. This is unimaginable to me, as a government official, who now has not even a desk."

    Others at agencies under the PM's Office Ministry are scattered around Bangkok. Those with the Government Spokesman's Bureau are at a printing office near Taksin Bridge. Those with the Permanent Secretary's Office and the Auditor-General now work at Phitsanulok and Manangkhasila Houses.

    Work space at TOT Corp on Chaeng Wattana Road is being prepared for staff.

    Jullayuth said this was the first time Government House staff had been forced out of their offices.

    "Even when it was briefly seized by a military coup in 1981, before prime minister Prem Tinsulanonda fled to Korat and set up an anti-coup command there, the soldiers returned our workplaces as soon as they deemed the seizure unnecessary," he said.

    With no PAD announcement on the end of its protest Jullayuth said he and some officials close to retirement would likely never again enter their workplaces of decades' standing.

  3. #423
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    Re: PAD & the Occupation of Government House

    PAD: a glimmer of talks about talks
    By THE SUNDAY NATION


    The anti-government People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) has softened its stance somewhat, with some of its leaders saying they are willing to negotiate with the new government of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat. The group has not formally dropped its demand that the People Power Party (PPP)-led government resign first, however, making the situation somewhat confusing.

    Chamlong Srimuang, Piphob Thongchai and Somsak Kosaisuk, three of the five PAD leaders, told a press conference yesterday they would wait and see how the situation unfolded. The PAD is pushing ahead with its controversial "New Politics" proposal and will hold a hearing at Government House with the participation of select representatives of various professions. It will then today listen to others who wish to come to the occupied protest site.

    Chamlong said a date and time for negotiation had not been set, though he said the group was willing to negotiate with credible representatives of the PM. Chamlong said the fact that Somchai had telephoned PAD leader Sondhi Limthongkul to ask if there was anything the government could do for them "was a good sign".

    He ruled out unilateral withdrawal from the occupied Government House, however, saying that would harm the credibility of the PAD leaders in the eyes of its followers.

    "The [protesters] came here with their hearts. If all of a sudden we tell them to withdraw from Government House, they will lose all faith in us."

    Chamlong told reporters that all this did not amount to the PAD softening its stance, however.

    "We're all Thais," he said, "and if they want to talk we can always do so. We're not all-powerful, and anyone who wants to talk will be welcome."

    Chamlong cited recent media re-ports that banned former Thai Rak Thai Party deputy leader Sudarat Keyu-raphan was meddling in the formation of the new Cabinet as one reason why Thailand needed "New Politics", a scheme whereby 70 per cent of the lower house would be appointed.

    Piphob said he wanted the media to consider the "New Politics" proposal.

    Meanwhile Gothom Arya, chairman of the National Economic and Social Advisory Council said yesterday it was willing to play the role of mediator in the negotiations.

    Gothom, who is also director of the Peace Development Centre at Mahidol University, said perhaps the two sides could start with exploratory talks or talks about talks.

    He played down the PAD demand that the government resign first, saying any talks should begin with demands acceptable to both parties.

    Gothom said Israel and the Palestinian authority for example would not be able to make any progress if their talks started with the issue of the holy city of Jerusalem.

    He said issues like "New Politics", or the PAD vacating Government House in exchange of the dropping of treason charges against PAD leaders might be a good start.

    Gothom warned that any real political reform would take at least a decade and involve a change in values.

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    Re: PAD & the Occupation of Government House

    Most Bangkokians believe PM can solve conflicts : survey
    By The Nation

    Three quarters of Bangkok people thinks new PM Somchai Wongsawat is a polite and moderate man. And 56 per cent thinks he can soothe political wounds.

    A healthy 87 per cent said appointing ministers on merit would shore up confidence and pave the way for overcoming political turmoil.

    The Abac Poll Research Centre survey approached 2,716 living in the capital.

    Almost 63 per cent said it was stressed by the political situation and about the same figure supported direct participation by the people, as suggested by "new politics".

    Slightly more than 63 per cent was suspicious that Somchai would play favourites and serve his family's interest before those of the country.

    Some 53 per cent remained interested in a government of national unity.

    An overwhelming majority of 95 per cent said it wanted fellow citizens to treat one another with care and solidarity.

    The Democrat Party urged PM Somchai to follow five guidelines when naming a Cabinet.

    Key ministries like finance, commerce and foreign should be allocated competent ministers, and not be sacrificed to political expediency.

    Existing caretaker ministers tainted by scandal and litigation should not be reappointed.

    Relatives of those banned from the electoral process should not accept portfolios. This will safeguard the government's reputation, the Democrats said.

    Big donors of the ruling party should not be rewarded with seats, it added.

    Lastly, those linked to the anti-coup movement and "prone to violence" should not be appointed.

    "In forming his Cabinet, the prime minister should send out positive signals of commitment to restore trust so as to allow the country and its economy to advance," Democrat spokesman Buranat Samutharak said.

    Buranat said the Democrats were disappointed Somchai failed to defend the judiciary after negative remarks made by his brother-in-law and ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra.

    He reminded the government that should it insist on amending the Constitution - in order to escape party dissolution or assist Thaksin in his graft prosecutions - there would never be national reconciliation.

    He blamed banned Thai Rak Thai executive Sudarat Keyuraphan for "smearing" the Democrats.

    He said her allegations linking the party to the People's Alliance for Democracy were groundless. The opposition is not involved in street protests, he added.

    Sudarat was slinging mud at the Democrats. This is a distraction from allegations ministers instigated the deadly clash between the opposing crowds on September 1, he said.

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    Re: PAD & the Occupation of Government House

    Privileges of monopoly
    By Boonsong Kositchotethana
    Deputy Assignment Editor (Business), Bangkok Post

    Members of the public, companies or anybody affected by the recent strikes by state enterprise workers sympathetic to the anti-government People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), should no longer tolerate the troubles inflicted on them.

    For starters, consumers in general should be more conscious of their rights to essential infrastructure and public services, which these state enterprises with a monopolistic status are obliged to provide. The work stoppage by Bangkok Port workers, the sporadic rail strikes, mostly in the South, and the repeated threats to cut off utilities show a total disrespect of consumers' rights and a lack in the sense of duty and integrity among these striking workers. They unfairly took the consumers, the national economy and the whole country hostage, and in fact paralysed many sectors of the economy, disrupting export flow and worsening the situation of the tourism industry, to cite just a few examples.

    Shippers estimated the country may have lost up to four billion baht a day from the strike, which was part of the PAD's protest, when some 5,000 containers of export and import shipments were stranded at Bangkok Port.

    The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) lost three million baht for each day of stoppage which caused widespread hardship, particularly among the lower-income travelling public.

    People who rely on public services, the Office of the Consumer Protection Board, consumers' rights groups and NGOs need to step forward to claim their legitimate rights. They need to make these state enterprises, their management, labour unions and individual workers accountable for the damage they have caused. The Land Transport Federation of Thailand's move to file a civil lawsuit against the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) and its labour union for 300 million baht in compensation, sets a good precedent.

    The Transportation Association of Thailand's plan to take legal action against the SRT for the train strike underscores the growing impatience of people to the abuse of power by state enterprises.

    Unfortunately, from the general public's front, the issue has not been taken up. Those self-proclaimed consumer rights campaigners - such as Rosana Tositrakul, a senator for Bangkok - have not spoken a word about this so far. (Ms Rosana is, of course, aligned with the PAD.)

    Members of the public can pursue legal action against those wayward state enterprise workers and their management, with the help of the Law Council of Thailand and the Office of the Consumer Protection Board. Laws protecting the interests of consumers do exist and are waiting to be used.

    Harsh penalties are needed to teach these state enterprises a proper lesson, so that they may become more responsible and, perhaps, find a more sensible reason for striking than simply being associated with some political movements of an anarchic nature.

    The boards and management of state enterprises cannot simply sit idly by and enjoy all the perks bestowed on them if they cannot manage their workers, allowing them to resort to actions that ruin the country and make life miserable for the general public.

    Executives of the State Enterprise Labour Relations Confederation, a group of 43 state enterprise labour unions, should be conscientious enough to know whether or not they should readily heed the call from Somsak Kosaisuk, one of the core PAD leaders.

    Of course, in a democratic society like ours, those state enterprises and their employees reserve the civic right to express their political ideology, to hold demonstrations, etc. But only in a way that respects consumers' rights.

    They should have a greater sense of commitment and gratitude toward consumers, often poor, who pay for their services and whose money supports their livelihood.

    Several state enterprises enjoy the privileges of monopoly which ensure them a captive market, thereby limiting the choices for consumers.

    Some of these enterprises rely on state subsidies, which in turn come from the taxpayers, whom they should be grateful for, instead of penalising them.

  6. #426
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    Re: PAD & the Occupation of Government House

    PAD: Gov't must make tangible offer for talks


    The People's Alliance for Democracy on Wednesday called for a tangible offer by the government in order to pave way for negotiations to resolve the political rifts.

    It also shunned the government's suggestion to set up the Constitution Drafting Assembly to rewrite the charter on grounds that this idea had ulterior motive for lopsided amendments.

    "The PAD has not shut its doors on talks but the government must clearly outline the talking points and designate a negotiator with true mandate," PAD spokesman Suriyasai Katasila said.

    The Nation

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    Re: PAD & the Occupation of Government House

    PAD willing to accept Chavalit as negotiator
    By The Nation

    People's Alliance for Democracy leader Chamlong Srimuang on Friday indicated that his opposition movement might accept to negotiate if the government appointed Deputy Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh as negotiator.

    Chamlong said Chavalit was suitable for the job although the success of the negotiations would hinge on whether the government would grant him a full mandate.
    The PAD is ready to enter the negotiating table but the government has yet to make an initiative to launch the talks, he said.
    He also dismissed the allegation that the PAD encouraged its local chapters in Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani to protest against the visit of House Speaker Chai Chidchob who was attending the southern region since Thursday.


    Protesters use their free time to practise golf at the Government House on Friday.//Prasert Thepsri
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Re: PAD & the Occupation of Government House

    PAD vows to stay put at Government House
    By The Nation

    The People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) Sunday insisted it would continue to occupy Government House and refused to take part in political reforms as proposed by 24 university rectors.

    Three PAD leaders - Chamlong Srimuang, Pipop Thongchai and Somsak Kosaisuk - held a press conference to affirm their stand that the proposal of the university rectors was not acceptable to them.

    The rectors have proposed that the government set up an independent body to begin political reforms to try to end the current crisis stemming from the months-long protests by the PAD.

    On Saturday, PAD coordinator Suriyasai Katasila had said the PAD could not accept the proposal to have the government as a manager of political reforms because this government was a nominee of the Thaksin Shinawatra government and had come to power with a hidden agenda.

    Chamlong told the press conference Sunday that the PAD saw the rectors' proposal as good but the PAD had its own way to push for political reform.

    "We hereby affirm that the PAD will stick to its way and will not join representatives of the 24 universities," Chamlong said.

    Chamlong said such an independent committee would take time to study political reforms and it was uncertain if the proposals of the independent committee would be accepted by the prime minister.

    "So, if we stop our demonstrations and wait for the independent committee, we will be wasting the chance of many people," Chamlong said.

    Somsak said the 24 universities had at least confirmed that the old politics was vicious and rotten.

    Pipop said the proposal of the 24 rectors was similar to the proposal to set up the National Reconciliation Commission to study how to end the southern violence.

    The commission, headed by former prime minister Anand Panyarachun, made proposals only to be ignored by the Thaksin government, Pipop said.

    Chamlong said the PAD could not give a specific time frame for completing its own blueprint of political reform.

    The PAD would hold a seminar on new politics on Wednesday.

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    Re: PAD & the Occupation of Government House

    The unity needs to happen between the government and General Anupong Paochinda. General Anupong has the power to control and maintain the law, but he refuses to do it. He lets the situation escalated more and more. He makes suggestion for PM Somchai to resign. I truly believe he needs to be removed from this position. He is holding the army power and it is really hard for the government to do it. The chief of army title is just a name. General Anupong, you should be ashamed of yourself for not protecting the country from the thugs who controlled the airports and government house.

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