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Choppers Rescue Lawmakers In Thailand

From an outraged Associated Press:

Thai PM declares state of emergency in Bangkok

By Grant Peck, Associated Press Writer

April 7, 2010

BANGKOK – Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declared a state of emergency in Bangkok on Wednesday, handing the army broad powers to restore order after anti-government protesters broke into Parliament, forcing some lawmakers to flee by helicopter.

Other lawmakers scaled the compound’s walls to escape the most chaotic protest in several weeks of demonstrations by a group demanding Abhisit dissolve the government and call elections within 15 days. He has offered to do so by the end of the year.

"The government has tried its best to enforce the law, but violations of the law have increased," Abhisit said in a televised statement that interrupted regular programming. "Our main goal is to bring the country back to normal and make our law sacred once again." He did not spell out how the emergency decree will be applied.

The government already had placed Bangkok under the strict Internal Security Act.

But a state of emergency includes more sweeping powers. It gives the military authority to restore order and allows the government to impose curfews, ban public gatherings of more than five people, censor and ban media from disseminating news that "causes panic." It also allows security officials to detain suspects without charge for up to 30 days.

The so-called Red Shirt protesters, who contend Abhisit came to power illegitimately, have been camped in Bangkok since March 12 and have ignored all other decrees for them to stop their demonstrations.

The movement — known formally as the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship — is made up of supporters of ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and pro-democracy activists who opposed the 2006 coup that removed him from power

Veera Muksikapong, a protest leader speaking to a rally in Bangkok’s central shopping district, directed a message to the army: "If you want to meet an army of nonviolent people, please come here. But I believe that ultimately the military will not listen to the government’s order." ..

Abhisit’s government is backed by the powerful military, but some have suggested the security forces are sympathetic to the protesters’ cause and are reluctant to get tough on them…

A government security agency, known by the acronym CAPO, sent a Black Hawk helicopter carrying five soldiers armed with M-16 rifles to fly the ministers and lawmakers to safety, the agency said in a statement

Arisman, a former pop singer, orchestrated the takeover of a regional conference last April, forcing the evacuation of Asian leaders by helicopters and boats from a Thai seaside resort

Don’t worry, Congressmen.

It can’t happen here.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, April 7th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Choppers Rescue Lawmakers In Thailand”

  1. Right of the People says:

    Come this November, Barry might want to keep Marine One warmed up and on the pad.

  2. canary says:

    1st link: awesome photo of beginning; rows & rows on both sides chomping at bits.
    2nd link: photos of the actual clashing (I was not able to find Black Hawk helicopters I was looking for.)
    Bangkok News: ‘There’ll be no force’

    Army chief Anupong Paojinda is steadfastly refusing to use force to disperse red shirt demonstrators who have besieged Ratchaprasong intersection since Saturday.

    Police and soldiers carrying shields line up in rows on Ratchadamri Road to stop red shirt demonstrators from a planned march. APICHIT JINAKUL

    “What will we do next if we cannot disperse the crowds? We need to uphold the sacredness of the law,” Mr Abhisit was quoted as saying.

    “We can’t [use force] since it will cause losses,” the source quoted Gen Anupong as replying. “They all are Thais.”

    The army chief insisted on a peaceful approach as he was concerned hardcore protesters will fight,..

    Another army source said there was little the army could do given the situation and Mr Abhisit might need political measures to defuse the situation.

    “It is up to the prime minister to decide. But it should be resolved through political means. Dialogue is needed…

    The source said there were calls for harsh measures such as using powerful water hoses to disperse the crowds but the government feared that could be the wrong move and give the red shirts the upper hand.

    Four military Humvees were seized by protesters at Sala Daeng intersection where one of the clashes took place.


    and….. they’re off! ….. and it’s cowboy hat in the first, red scarf in the 2nd,…. coming up the rear, neck to neck an entire herd of red-shirts!


    and just think if that happened here in America, Obama would serve at the least tea, apples, & handfuls of cash if a shirt get’s spoiled or wrinkled like he does the Afgan terrorists.

  3. Liberals Demise says:

    Is the nuclear option off Irans list?

  4. Mithrandir says:

    The corrupt government airlifts itself to safety, and orders the military to do all the dirty work.

    You know, in that case, the military should just laugh it off. Any government that is so awful that they need to run for cover, should not expect the protection of the military. Cancer has to be rooted out, not protected. It’s best that they retire and let competent people take over management.

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