Home > Local News > Thai Patriot Network cannot close Sa Kaeo border checkpoint: Suthep

Thai Patriot Network cannot close Sa Kaeo border checkpoint: Suthep

BANGKOK, Jan 13 —  Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said
Thursday that the government will not allow the activist Thai Patriots
Network to push its agenda and close the Sa Kaeo border checkpoint in
Aranyaprathet district as threatened to urge the government to help
seven Thais detained in Cambodia.

Mr Suthep said the government has given every assistance in trying to
help the detainees, and he personally believed the talks were the best
way to find a solution, He expressed confidence that using threats will
not bear fruit.

As for the Thai Patriots Network’s plan to rally at the Thai-Cambodian
border area at Aranyaprathet and threaten to close the border to
pressure the Thai and Cambodian governments to release the seven Thais,
Mr Suthep said he has ordered local officials to carry out their duties
as normal.

However, he said, the government would not let the political activist
network close the border as it could violate other people’s rights.

“The protesters could demonstrate in accordance with their rights but
the border closure will not be allowed as the area is business area,
the people of the two countries are crossing to each other territory.
The government wants to see the good relations between the two
countries and eases the rift,” he said.

The deputy premier said the government could not stop the Thai Patriots
Network to have negative feeling and dissatisfied with the government’s
attempt to help the seven Thais.

He said people could have different idea but the government did not want the see any group divided against each other.

He added that even though both the red- and yellow-shirt people groups
are planning to rally against the government, it was not necessary to
reinstate the emergency decree. The authorities can keep the situation
under control using ordinary law.

Mr Suthep said the government earlier had invited Cambodian Deputy
Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sok An to attend meeting on Preah
Vihear disputes but get no confirmation on the trip after the incident
of seven Thais detained in Cambodia.

Meanwhile, the Thai Patriots Network who had already gathered at
Government House on Wednesday announced to step up their protest at
Government House.

Mr Chaiwat Sinsuwong, a core member of the Thai Patriots Network, on
Wednesday said in members of his group may close the permanent
Aranyaprathet-Poipet checkpoint in Sa Kaeo’s Aranyaprathet district to
pressure Cambodia to release the seven Thais.

He said the closure was aimed at preventing Thai gamblers from crossing
the border to patronise casinos in Poipet and barring illicit
activities along the border including smuggling of contraband, drugs
and the movement of illegal labour.

However, the decision of the so-called patriots network movement would be discussed among its leaders at 4pm.

The seven Thais, including Democrat member of parliament for Bangkok
Panich Vikitsreth, were arrested Dec 29 by the Cambodian authorities
for illegal entry into Cambodian territory in Banteay Meanchey province
and are now detained in Phnom Penh’s Prey Sar Prison.

However, the latest report from Phnom Penh said the Cambodian Court has
granted bail for Mr Panich and Naruemol Chitwaratana, but has not
allowed them to return to Thailand. (MCOT online news)

Categories: Local News
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