Army sends soldiers to block UDD from park
published : 30 Nov 2015 at 04:30
newspaper section: News
writer: Aekarach Sattaburuth
Red-shirt leaders have vowed to visit Rajabhakti Park to investigate the alleged corruption in the one-billion-baht project in Prachuap Khiri Khan Monday, despite military efforts to block them from the park.
Speaking in a TV programme Sunday, Jatuporn Prompan, leader of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), said military officers were deployed at the entrances of the housing estates where he and Nattawut Saikua, UDD secretary-general, stayed Sunday morning.
The deployment seemed to be an attempt to block them from going to the park, Mr Jatuporn said.
The UDD leader said he and Mr Nattawut will travel to the place as planned, adding that if they cancelled the plan, public suspicion over the park scandal would intensify.
He also warned authorities the situation may get out of hand if they try to prevent them from entering the park, as the obstruction would mean authorities have something to hide.
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National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) spokesman Winthai Suvaree said the red-shirt leaders should be cautious about their movements as the visit could be seen as politically motivated.
Meanwhile, the defence ministry said a committee set up by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon on Friday has called a meeting to discuss the graft probe.
The panel will gather evidence and invite concerned ministry officers -- including Gen Preecha Chan-o-cha, who is a member of the Rajabhakti Park Foundation committee -- to explain the steps taken in the park's construction, said Defence Ministry spokesman Maj Gen Kongcheep Tantrawanit.
"We need time for this panel to work thoroughly in its fact-finding mission," said the spokesman.
Meanwhile, Maj Gen Kongcheep has insisted the ministry is also ready to support state bodies which probe the project's construction, for the sake of transparency.
Ex-army chief Gen Udomdej Sitabutr could also be asked to give information as he is the foundation's chairman, said a source.
National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) president Panthep Klanarongran said Sunday the agency's secretary-general has conducted a secret investigation into the scandal, and will report the results at an agency meeting Tuesday.