Red-shirt leader attacks Chalerm 'failure'

Red-shirt leader attacks Chalerm 'failure'

Jatuporn says CMPO director is too weak

Red-shirt core leader Jatuporn Prompan has slammed Chalerm Yubamrung for his failure to reclaim state agencies which have been seized by anti-government protesters.

In his latest talk show broadcast on satellite television channel Asia Update, Mr Jatuporn expressed his disappointment with the role of Mr Chalerm as the director of the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) because he has so far appeared reluctant to use the power that he has.

The centre is in charge of enforcing measures under the emergency decree to control the protest of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC).

Mr Jatuporn, co-leader of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), said the CMPO has failed to prevent the protesters from barricading key state agencies including the Interior Ministry and the government complex on Chaeng Wattana Road.

He suggested Mr Chalerm should resign from the CMPO if he cannot take back the Interior Ministry from the protesters.

Mr Jatuporn said he was not asking authorities to disperse the PDRC rally, but the caretaker government must think of those people who need to contact state agencies.

Mr Jatuporn is facing a terrorism charge related to his role in leading the pro-Thaksin UDD protest in 2010 which ended in bloodshed.

Talks between the authorities and the protesters to reclaim the Interior Ministry ended on Monday.

However, Mr Chalerm, who is also the caretaker labour minister, said he could not yet say whether the ministry would be re-opened on Tuesday.

"It depends on the police's capabilities," he said. ''Police still do not want to intensify measures against the protesters.''

However, the officers have a right to protect themselves if they are attacked, he said.

Meanwhile, a PDRC ally, the Network of Students and People for Reform of Thailand, continued its protest against the caretaker government by "shutting down" eight state agencies.

Among them were the Industry Ministry and the nearby Department of Mineral Resources.

The group arrived at the Industry Ministry before noon on Monday and then asked officials who were working to leave the building within 10 minutes.

The officials who agreed to leave were also searched by the protesters who did not want them to take documents out of their office.

Officials at the Department of Mineral Resources Department were also asked to stop working and go home.

Meanwhile, an anti-government protest leader is asking the Civil Court to consider whether the caretaker government has defied the court's ruling which prohibited authorities from seizing and obstructing supplies to the anti-government protest.

Thaworn Senneam, a co-leader of the PDRC, claimed the caretaker government has threatened the managers of two hotels where protest leaders have stayed or held meetings.

It also confiscated at least two private bank accounts from people it suspected of providing help to the protesters, including the account set up to pay compensation to injured demonstrators.

"It is against the court's ruling and I am asking the court to look into this together with the invocation of the emergency decree against anti-government protesters," Mr Thaworn said of his petition to the court on Monday.

Previously, Mr Thaworn had asked the court to issue a temporary injunction against the government's emergency decree in Bangkok and surrounding provinces.

The court declined the temporary injunction against the emergency decree.

Instead, the court issued an injunction prohibiting the government from confiscating goods, supplies and materials belonging to the protesters.

In addition, about 300 PDRC protesters from its Lumpini Park stage were sent to the Interior Ministry to reinforce a rally by the Confederation of State Enterprise Labour Unions, an ally of the PDRC.

A team of senior police officers, sent by Mr Chalerm, had negotiated with the protesters but failed to persuade them to leave the premises.

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