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Thai ‘Red Shirts’ to Launch Foreign Resistance

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    Thai Junta Warns Other Countries Against Supporting Dissidents Overseas

    BANGKOK, July 9 (Bernama) -- The military junta has advised other countries against facilitating any Thai dissident movements abroad, Xinhua news agency reported.

    The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) told foreign military attaches on Wednesday that giving support to overseas movements, in particular the group organised by former Pheu Thai party leader Charupong Ruangsuwan, will be viewed as intervention in the country's internal affairs.

    Army intelligence director Maj Gen Panot Saengtien said the NCPO had adequate evidence linking former PM's office minister Jakrapob Penkair to illegal possession of weapons.

    The junta has sought arrest warrants for a number of red-shirt movement leaders and revoked their passports.

    Jakrapob is a key figure in the anti-NCPO Seri Thai movement headed by Charupong and both men are believed to have fled the country.

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    Jakrapob's extradition sought
    June 29, 2014

    National police deputy chief Pol Gen Somyot Phumphanmuang said anti-coup activist Jakrapob Penkair is known to be in Hong Kong right now.

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    Anti-coup movement to have office next month: Jakrapob

    HONG KONG - The anti-coup movement, the Organisation of Free Thais for Human Rights and Democracy (FT-HD), will establish an official base in a Western country by next month, Jakrapob Penkair said on Thursday.

    "We have not made a final decision on the place where the headquarters will be, but we have been in talks with more than five countries, all in the Western hemisphere," the fugitive red shirt co-leader told the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents' Club.

    There had been speculation the group might be based in Hong Kong or Cambodia, but Mr Jakrapob ruled out an Asia headquarters.

    "It's not to say the West is superior, but it is more established, it's more well aware of the tricks and the games being played in Thailand now," he said.

    "I believe that by July we should be able to say where this office will be," he added, saying it would be clearly visible and open to the public.

    "We have to work from outside ... but eventually changes must be made from inside, that's what we're working towards," he said.

    Charupong Ruangsuwan announced the setting up of the movement opposing the coup on Tuesday to press for the quick return of democracy to Thailand.

    Mr Jakrapob said former premier Thaksin Shinawatra had not joined the group.

    The Pheu Thai Party has dismissed connections with the movement since its former leader unveiled the plan and said it supported the junta to restore peace and order in the country.

    The NCPO on Wednesday set up five panels chaired by NCPO deputy chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew to monitor content in all branches of the media to prevent the press from becoming tools to distribute false information stirring up violence and provoking public hatred against the monarchy.

    NCPO deputy spokesman Winthai Suwaree on Wednesday defended the move, saying it will not curb the right to know of the public as the panels would only try to end groundless information and rumours issued by the media.

    Asked about the FT-HD coverage, Col Winthai said the decision to report on the movement rested with the media as the junta would not deploy measures to pressure the press.

    The NCPO was not placing any importance on the group as it was more concerned about tackling the country's problems, he said, reiterating that other countries should not support the movement.

    Mr Charupong faces an arrest warrant for failing to report to the coup-makers after the coup. His whereabouts is unknown.

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    Weapons charge opens door to Jakrapob extradition

    Jakrapob Penkair.

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    Opponents of Thai junta suspend plan to form gov't-in-exile
    June 27, 2014

    A former Thai government official opposed to the junta that seized power in May said Thursday he and other dissidents will form an opposition group in exile next month, instead of a government-in-exile as previously contemplated.

    Jakrapob Penkair, a former government minister who has been in self-imposed exile for five years, told the Foreign Correspondents Club in Hong Kong at a luncheon that the group will likely be set up in one of five Western countries it has been in contact with, rather than in Asia.

    "It's not the government-in-exile we're organizing, it's just a political group. But one day it might grow," Jakrapob, a former chief spokesman for the government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra who was ousted in a 2006 coup, told Kyodo News.

    The group, named Organization of Free Thais for Human Rights and Democracy, will be led by former interior minister and former Pheu Thai Party chief, Charupong Reuangsuwan, who was a member of the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin's younger sister who fell from power shortly before the latest coup.

    "My own personal view in the first place after the coup was to set up a government-in-exile, but then when I consulted with many of my colleagues, I came down a few notches. We see a government-in-exile as an option for the future," Jakrapob said.

    He said Western countries are better choices for the group's headquarters than Asian states as they are less likely to be influenced by the military dictatorship now in power in Thailand.

    Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has said he will not allow any Thai government-in-exile to be established in Cambodia despite his friendship with the Thaksin clan.

    Jakrapob said the group will seek international support for its push for restoration of democracy in Thailand through a free and fair election.

    Regarding Thaksin's connection with the group, Jakrapob said the former populist prime minister is a "symbol and an ally" but is not expected to play any political or financial role.

    He predicted that the current period of stability in Thailand following the coup and the revocation of the martial law will be short-lived, saying the people will react differently when they see the true colors of the junta.

    Thai Consul-General Aroon Jivasakapimas, who also attended the luncheon, said an election will be held within one-and-a-half year.

    "Now we are concentrating on stability, and reform, and then election," he said.

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    Military order media not to report anti-coup movement in newsroom

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    Pheu Thai Denies Links to Anti-Coup Group in Exile
    Wed, 25/06/2014

    Khaosod English reported on Tuesday that the ruling Phue Thai party of the former government has denied any link with the anti-coup group founded in exile by its former leader.

    Chawalit Witchayasutthi, deputy secretary-general of Pheu Thai Party said on Tuesday that the Pheu Thai Party must stay under the framework of rules and laws and that it is personal opinion of former leader Jaruponbg Ruangsuwan to oppose the coup.

    Jarupong on Tuesday unveiled the group, called The Organization of Free Thais for Human Rights and Democracy (FTHD), in a video published on social media. Another video showed former minister and prominent activist Jakrapob Penkair reading the group's founding statement in English. Both leaders are thought to be currently residing in Cambodia.

    Chawalit also insisted that no high-ranking party members will oppose the military junta in any way and that will allow the junta to proceed with its plan.

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    Thai ex-lawmakers vow 'fightback' against coup
    24 Jun 2014

    The former president of the toppled Thai ruling party on Tuesday launched the first official opposition group to the nation's coup-making junta, bidding to draw together dissidents within the country and outside its borders.

    Thai policemen stand guard during a demonstration by an anti-coup protester at a shopping mall in Bangkok.

    BANGKOK: The former leader of the toppled Thai ruling party on Tuesday launched the first official opposition group to the nation's new military regime, bidding to draw together dissidents within the country and outside its borders.

    Jarupong Ruangsuwan, an ex-minister and wanted man in Thailand, said the newly-minted "Organisation of Free Thais for Human Rights and Democracy" (FT-HD) will press for the restoration of democratic rule.

    Since grabbing power from the elected government in a coup on May 22, Thailand's junta has muzzled dissent across the nation and effectively stifled any attempt to co-ordinate widespread anti-coup actions.

    It has imposed strict media controls, shuttered opposition radio stations, and summoned and detained hundreds of people, the majority linked with the deposed Pheu Thai government of ex-premier Yingluck Shinawatra and her administration's "Red Shirt" supporters.

    The anti-coup group, which will operate from an unnamed country, will resist any moves by the establishment-backed junta to rig the political system in its favour, Jarupong said in the group's founding statement.

    Jarupong, who resigned as Puea Thai party leader last week, decried the coup as "grand larceny" and accused the junta of violating "the rule of law, abusing democratic principles" and destroying "rights, liberties, and human dignity."

    The organisation is backed by a coalition of former lawmakers, academics, Red Shirt figures and other opponents of the army power grab.

    The junta's foreign affairs ministry batted away their announcement.

    "There is only one legitimate government, that is this administration," permanent secretary Sihasak Phuangketkeow told reporters.

    Thailand's army has faced a barrage of international condemnation since claiming power.
    On Monday, the European Union halted all official visits to Thailand and suspended the signing of a partnership and cooperation accord with Bangkok.

    Thailand has suffered a deep political rupture since Thaksin Shinawatra -- Yingluck's older brother -- swept onto the political centrestage in 2001 on a wave of support from the northern portion of the country.

    The Shinawatras' electoral success has shaken the Bangkok-based royalist elite -- and its supporters in the military -- who accuse the family of abusing democracy to sponsor massive graft and cronyism.

    Some observers say the political crisis is motivated by anxiety among competing elites over who will control the country after the rule of the nation's ailing but revered king ends.

    Thaksin was deposed as premier in a 2006 coup and lives in self-exile to avoid jail for a corruption conviction, although his political affiliates have continued to sweep the polls.

    He draws loyalty among the urban working class and across the populous but poor north and northeast, where supporters praise him for recognising their burgeoning political and economic aspirations.

    His sister Yingluck was deposed by a controversial court order shortly before May's coup, which the army said was necessary to restore order following several months of sometimes-deadly street protests in Bangkok.

    "The people are demanding a fightback," FT-HD spokesman Jakrapob Penkair told AFP via Skype from London, where he was speaking on Monday.

    "We will provide psychological support for all anti-coup, democratic groups inside and outside Thailand. We will provide assistance and encouragement to all demonstrators against the coup... but not of the violent kind," he continued.

    "This is just the start," he said, adding the billionaire former premier and Red Shirt hero Thaksin had not joined the group.

    Jakrapob was a spokesman for Thaksin's government, which was toppled by another army coup in 2006, and a founding member of the Red Shirt movement.

    Coup-leading Army Chief Prayut Chan-ocha has suspended the constitution, gathered sweeping powers and smothered dissent, warning anti-coup protesters face military courts if prosecuted.

    Thai police on Monday offered a $15 reward to anyone providing photographic or video evidence to help convict anti-coup protesters who have gathered in small but increasingly creative flashmobs.

    In the latest strike on freedom of expression, a lone man reading George Orwell's anti-authoritarian novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four" was arrested on Sunday.

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    Andrew MacGregor Marshall.A TOUGH STRUGGLE640506.jpg
    Last edited by Mid; 06-15-2014, 03:07 PM.

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    2 / 3 : Meeting resistance: the hard road of opposition in exile

    Joe Wichaicommart Gordon.
    Last edited by Mid; 06-15-2014, 03:07 PM.

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    Meeting resistance: the hard road of opposition in exile
    Nanchanok Wongsamuth

    living on the lam: Former government minister and lese majeste suspect Jakrapob Penkair.
    Photos: Nanchanok WongsamuthOVERSEAS RESISTANCEijxUzF8.jpg
    Pruay Salty Head.
    Last edited by Mid; 06-15-2014, 03:01 PM.

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    Jakrapob forms anti-coup body

    Fugitive red-shirt co-leader Jakrapob Penkair says an anti-coup organisation-in-exile has been formed.

    Mr Jakrapob wrote on his Facebook page yesterday that he and other people against the coup have formed an overseas organisation to fight against dictatorship.

    His group would announce in the next few days the "freedom and liberty of Thai people" from the military dictatorship.

    He claimed the anti-coup body has been warmly received by the international community, saying not only Thai nationals but also world figures have supported his move to fight the junta.

    Mr Jakrapob did not give any details about which foreign country he has chosen to be the base for the organisation-in-exile.

    The core leader of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) was among more than 20 lese majeste suspects recently ordered by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to report in or face trial in a military court.

    Mr Jakrapob, a former Prime Minister's Office minister in the Thaksin Shinawatra government who is now living in exile, lashed out at the junta for using unlawful powers to undermine political activism.

    He said it was evident Thailand would not return to the democratic path for a long time to come as the military would use the power that it had unlawfully seized to reap benefits for themselves, their families and their cronies.

    He said the NCPO's policy to "bring back happiness to the country" was a fraud. He called on Thais to join him in his fight against the dictatorship.

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Sek Wannamethee yesterday said the ministry has sought information from the Cambodian government about Mr Jakrapob's movements but Cambodia said it would not interfere in other countries' affairs.

    Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen had earlier said he would not allow the country to be used as a base for political activities, Mr Sek said.

    He admitted the ministry did not know where Mr Jakrapob was staying.

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