Local govt leaders rally against Suthep

About 500 village and tambon chiefs staged a rally near the Interior Ministry on Thursday, demanding that People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) demonstrators end their blockade and allow interior officials to return to work.

The local leaders were led by Yongyos Kaewkhiew, president of the Association of Village and Tambon Chiefs of Thailand. No village or tambon leaders from the South Region took part in the rally in front of Saranrom Palace,  which is near the ministry and formerly housed the foreign ministry.

They set up a small stage and took turns to attack PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban. 

They then issued  a statement expressing disapproval of Mr Suthep's call that provincial governors be chosen by elections.

The statement said Mr Suthep, being wanted for insurrection under an arrest warrant, did not have the authority to order government officials to do as he wanted.

It said Mr Suthep served as a tambon chief, or kamnan, for only two years, and used this position as a passage to politics.

The statement denounced Mr Suthep for using his supporters to block the ministry.

Mr Yongyos also said he would submit a letter of grievances to caretaker Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan, pointing out that people in many localities were suffering from water shortages as it is now the dry season.

The lack of water had damaged farmland and the people needed to contact the ministry for help, he said.

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