PDRC slams Satish deportation

The People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) has warned the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) that its order to deport Indian businessman Satish Sehgal for his involvement in anti-government activities could affect relations with India.

PDRC spokesman Akanat Promphan demanded CMPO chief Chalerm Yubamrung fully explain the decision and take full responsibility for any consequences which may follow.

Mr Satish is president of the Thai-Indian Business Association.

Mr Akanat said the Indian businessman had never been involved in anything conducive to violence.

Mr Akanat also asked Mr Chalerm to explain whether the CMPO really has the power to deport foreign residents.

The PDRC spokesman said he heard that a sign had been put up in front of the Nong Khai immigration office prohibiting foreigners from taking part in protests in Thailand. He questioned whether this was intimidation and against people's basic rights.

Thaworn Senneam, a PDRC core member, said the caretaker government should be aware of the possible consequences of its action against the businessman.

Mr Satish had not caused any unrest in the country, but simply hated the corruption practiced by this outgoing government, Mr Thaworn said.

Mr Thaworn said that since the emergency decree was imposed Mr Satish had not joined in any PDRC protest and was therefore was not liable for deportation.

He called for caretaker Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan to rethink the matter, saying that action against Mr Satish could affect the country's foreign investments.

He added that he was considering providing Mr Satish with legal assistance.

Mr Thaworn said he had an appointment to meet Pol Maj Gen Adul Narongsak, a deputy metropolitan police chief, and commanders of Metropolitan Police Divisions 5 as well as the chiefs of Lumpini, Thung Mahamek and Pathumwan police stations at a hotel this afternoon to discuss security for PDRC protesters at Lumpini.

One of the issues to be raised is that police entering the rally site for intelligence collection should not carry a weapon. If found with a weapon, they would be told to leave the rally site, Mr Thaworn said.

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