Bangkok (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A group of at least 3 thousand "red shirts" are marching towards the headquarters of the company Thaicom, to protest against the shut down of the "People's Channel" TV station close to the antigovernment protesters. Meanwhile the authorities have issued arrest warrants for seven people involved in the assault on Parliament on 7 April.
Army sources report the deployment of 33 thousand other police and military personnel to strengthen security measures in Bangkok. The demonstrators, close to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in exile and supported by the opposition United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), are calling for the reopening of the satellite TV station and are willing to face the soldiers.
"People’s Channel " was taken off air shortly after the government’s declaration of a state of emergency. Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday defended the decision, explaining that the station broadcast "misleading" information threatening national security. There are 6 thousand soldiers and officers inside the building, while another 600 patrol the entrances to defend the complex that houses the TV.
Colonel Sansern Kaewkamnerd, spokesman for the Centre for Public Administration in Emergency Situations (CPAES) says that - according to the state of emergency - police and soldiers will take concrete steps to protect the TV station. He does not exclude the use of shields, water cannons, tear gas and sound waves to repel the attackers. However, until now the army has declined to use force to repel the demonstrators preferring the channel of dialogue, open to negotiations with leaders of the revolt.
Meanwhile the authorities have issued an arrest warrant against seven "red shirts", bringing to 27 the total of warrants issued. The latest relates to the individuals involved in the assault on Parliament buildings on 7 April, which forced ministers and deputies to flee. Four leaders of the riots are among those facing arrest: Arisman Pongruangrong, Nuttawut Saiku, Veera Musikapong and Jatuporn Prompan.