PAD foils Thaksin's meeting in LA

PAD foils Thaksin's meeting in LA

Fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra cancelled a meeting with his supporters at Thai town, north of downtown Los Angeles, USA, on Sunday evening (LA time) after about 2,000 yellow-shirts also gathered near the venue, the Post Today website reported.

Post Today quoted a report in Siamtown US, a leading weekly Thai newspaper in LA, California, that Thaksin was scheduled to meet his followers and red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) supporters at a private dinner organised by the “Red USA” group at Thailand Plaza on Hollywood Boulevard at 6pm (8am Thai time Monday). 

He was then to address the crowd from a makeshift stage built on the plaza’s parking lot at 8pm.

The report said UDD core member Darunee Kritboonyalai, wearing a wig in the colours of the Thai flag, first led dozens of red-shirts along the street to the plaza.

However, about 5.30pm, about 300 yellow-shirt supporters of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), many holding placards, started to occupy the space around the plaza. The crowd reportedly grew to about 2,000 by 7pm.

About 9pm, a car believed to be bringing Thaksin to the meeting was seen driving around the neighbourhood. Meanwhile, there was no sign of the former premier at the venue.

The report said Thaksin finally phoned in to apologise to the red-shirts for his no-show, saying the PAD protesters had prevented him entering the plaza.

Siamtown US earlier reported that there were concerns about a possible confrontation between supporters and opponents of Thaksin at the event and police were called to ensure order.

Event organiser Chao Suatae reportedly said about 500 guests were due to attend the gathering and that Thaksin was likely to address the crowd non-stop for two hours.

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