Suthep: Drug, weapons claims 'invented'

The allegations by the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO) that some protesters were using drugs to boost their morale or stockpiling weapons for the Jan 13 mass rally were an “invented story” to seek grounds for imposing the emergency decree, protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban said on Sunday evening.

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Mr Suthep, secretary-general of the People's Democratic Reform Committee, was referring to the remarks by caretaker Information and Communications Technology Minister Anudith Nakornthap on national television Sunday morning that a group of protesters had stolen guns from police vehicles on Dec 26 during the clash at Din Daeng. 

He said authorities believe the protesters may be planning to create a public disturbance during the Jan 13 rally as intelligence reports indicated that large amounts of bullets suitable for the missing weapons had been purchased from gun shops in the capital. 

Mr Suthep described Mr Anudith’s drug and weapon stockpiling allegations as “pure imagination”, saying the caretaker government was trying to distort the truth to smear the protesters by saying they were armed, dangerous and non-peaceful. 

“They are looking for an excuse to invoke the emergency decree to crack down on us. We are good citizens who will fight by peaceful means,” he said.

On Tuesday at 8.30am, Mr Suthep said he would stage another warm-up march to the Thonburi district of Bangkok to invite residents to join the planned rally to attempt to shut down the capital and force caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to resign. 

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