Paradorn: We will arrest Suthep

Police will arrest anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban as soon as an opportunity arises, National Security Council secretary-general Paradorn Pattanatabut said on Tuesday.

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"Authorities are closely monitoring Mr Suthep but his arrest will depend on the circumstances and environment," Lt Gen Paradorn told reporters.

Asked about the arrest of People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) core member Sonthiyan Chuenruthainaitham, he said the emergency decree allows police to detain him for seven days.

If the investigation has not been completed police can keep him in custody for seven more days at a time, with court approval, but he cannot be detained for more than 30 days.

On Monday, police arrested Mr Sonthiyan while he was eating lunch at Central department store in Lat Phrao. He and 18 other PDRC leaders are wanted under arrest warrants for violating the emergency decree in connection with the mass protests demanding the resignation of caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her government.

When reporters asked whether the government will announce the names of capitalists allegedly behind the funding of the protests, he said an investigation had been completed. The information was with Department of Special Investigation (DSI) director-general Tarit Pengdith, he said.

On the private sector's call for the government to lift the state of emergency, due to the detrimental effect that it is having on the overall economy, he said the government will do so when the situation eases, but the decree is necessary at this time.

"Security agencies are concerned that the protesting rice farmers will team up with the PDRC protesters, but I believe that the farmers can see their motive is quite different from the PDRC's," Lt Gen Paradorn said.

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