Thai army chief General Anupong Paojinda answers questions from the press during a press conference at the Army headquarters in Bangkok on September 2, 2008. Thailand’s powerful army chief vowed the military would try to negotiate a peaceful end to anti-government protests and would not use force against activists besieging the premier’s office.
Army chief: Thai military won’t stage coup, explores ways to end violence
BANGKOK, Sept 2 (TNA) — Pledging that there is no possibility of a military coup d’etat after embattled Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej imposed a State of Emergency in the Thai capital of Bangkok early Tuesday, Army chief Gen. Anupong Paochinda said unarmed military and police personnel would maintain peace and order, while officers seek ways to end the bloody violence between the pro- and anti-government demonstrators.
Gen. Anupong told a press conference after a meeting between senior military and police officers that concerned officials would use democratic means to finding ways to solve the ongoing political turbulence.
“Negotiations will be used in ending the problem and not simply the force of law,” said Gen. Anupong.
The Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations was imposed shortly after dawn Tuesday, hours after the pro-government demonstrators clashed with protesters loyal to the anti-government
People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) now occupying Government House which houses the prime minister’s office.
One person died and more than 30 others were injured in a free-for-all clash.
Mr. Samak has said that the decree would not be imposed for long, but he did not give a timeframe when it would be lifted.
Assuring the public that Bangkok’s metropolitan police and the First Army Region, which supervises security in Bangkok and central region provinces, could maintain peace, Gen. Anupong said he personally believed that when both the administrative and the judiciary branches failed to end the conflict in the country, the legislature, which is the last opportunity, should step in to end the conflict.
“Parliament should be responsible to end this problem,” Gen. Anupong said. “If the problems cannot be resolved, the country can’t survive.”
When asked whether a curfew would be imposed in the capital after the decree was issued, Gen. Anupong said it was still inappropriate to impose a curfew because it “could affect daily life and business”. (TNA)
Thai PM says State of Emergency Decree only for short term
BANGKOK, Sept 2 (TNA) – Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej told a televised news conference Tuesday morning that the State of Emergency Decree would not be enforced for an extended period but he gave no time frame when it would end.
Mr. Samak told reporters at the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters that the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations would cause some inconvenience but the public could carry out their routine daily lives normally.
“Life will be as usual, the decree will not last long,” the prime minister said, asking for cooperation from the public.
Mr. Samak said the committee he had appointed to enforce the decree would investigate the cause on the violence which erupted between pro- and anti-government demonstrators early Tuesday morning which left one person dead and over 30 injured.
Following the implementation of the State of Emergency, the prime minister appointed Army chief Gen. Anupong Paochinda to head the emergency decree enforcement team in Bangkok while the National Police Chief and First Regional Army Commander are his deputies.
The appointed committee would also be responsible to return the capital to normality, Mr. Samak said.
The premier said he had opted to use the State of Emergency to confront the crisis as he considered it was the best and most gentle way to restore order after the disruptions of peace and public safety that occurred with the use of violence early Tuesday morning.
He said he reacted with caution as he did not want violence to occur, and was not acting alone, on his own, but in consultation with a number of officials. The decision to use the decree was made after two hours of discussion with other officials.
He added that the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) that staged anti-government protest had no legal or moral right to be encamped in the Government House compound and that the committee set up to enforce the decree would be responsible to resolve the problem.
The prime minister said the decree would affect the Bangkok gubernatorial election campaign, but he would ask the Election Commission to extend both the campaign period and the date of the election as the prohibition of gatherings of more than five people under the decree makes it difficult to conduct an election. (TNA)
both news are from http://enews.mcot.net