Monday, November 29, 1999

Red Shirts demand cease-fire as Thai Govt declares `live-fire` zone

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Bangkok, May 15 (ANI): Thailand's opposition "Red-Shirts" on Saturday called for a cease-fire and withdrawal of troops from Bangkok's key Ratchaprasong business district, even as the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declared the area a 'live-fire' zone.The escalating tensions between opposition protestors and security personnel prompted troops to erect signages warning people and journalists not to enter the area.The Red Shirt leadership however, has refused to be intimidated.UDD leader Natthawut Saikua showed images of a woman who he said had been killed by the army."The civilian on the photo is a Red-Shirt supporter and she was killed by troops deployed by the government," told the crowd and journalists at the protest venueThe Bangkok Post further quoted him as saying "We [the UDD] demand that the army cease-fire and withdraw the troops immediately to prevent more losses. Then we can consider the political demands."He said that there wasn't much scope for negotiation with the Government as the crisis had reached the point of no return."We'll continue to fight for democracy," he added.He claimed that many bombs had been planted in Lumpini Park, and the UDD had cooperated with Metropolitan Police Division 1 commander Wichai Sangprapai during inspection of the area.Meanwhile, a veteran photographer of the Thai 'Nation' newspaper, Chaiwat Poompuang, was wounded during clashes as the Red Shirts tried to penetrate Ratchaprarop Road where soldiers are stationed, the paper reports. (ANI)

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