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Mass rallies planned, arrest warrants issued and rice store catches fire

The People’s Democratic Reform Committee are to stage mass rallies on February the 14th, 15th and 16th. The demonstrations, that will take place at the existing protest sites at Silom, Chaengwattana, Asoke and Ratchaprasong, Pathumwan, are designed to allow the protestors to declare their loyalty towards the country and will coincide with St Valentine ’s Day and Makha Bucha Day.

According to Suthep on Makha Buddha day the protestors will join in merit making and even extend mercy to the Thaksin regime. On Monday Thaksin Shinwatra was in Myanmaar attending a superstitious ritual for blessings to overcome the forces that are working against him.

Prompong Nopparit, a Pheu Thai Party spokesman has rejected a report that Thaksin has urged the government to hold talks with the protestors to find a political resolution for Thailand, he also ruled out a Democratic deputy spokesperson’s allegation that the Pheu Thai Party hired migrant workers to create unrest at anti government rally sites.

12 protests 2The National Anti-Corruption Commission has denied an allegation in the social media that it has intentionally delayed an investigation to remove Yingluck Shinawatra from the caretaker premiership for negligence of duty relating to malpractice in the controversial rice pledging scheme.

The rice farmers will soon take Yingluck’s government to court to seek compensation for the overdue payments, several ministers involved in the populist policy are also facing demands to give famers, who have not been paid what they are owed, help with their financial crisis. There are 1.2 million farmers waiting for payment.

In the meantime a fire has broken out at a warehouse in Chai Badan, in Lop Buri province, that caused damage to some of the thousands of rice sacks stored inside. Arson has been suspected as the fire came one day after rice farmers threatened to search all government warehouses to check stocks and inspect the quality of the rice. The fire took place in warehouse used to store rice from the 2012 crop year pledged under the scheme.

The police have assigned a four man team to follow the key leaders of the anti-government protest around the clock and to provide updates on their whereabouts so they can be arrested when the opportunity arises. The anti-protest operation at the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) has obtained arrest warrants for 19 leaders of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, including Sonthiyarn Chuenruethainaitham who was apprehended on Monday and is now in police custody in a facility outside Bangkok. Thailand will hold election re-runs in April in constituencies where voting was obstructed by opposition protesters earlier this month.

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