Surapong seeks international help to end protests

Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul has taken over efforts to end anti-government protests and is asking the international community to help stop the unconstitutional "people's revolt".

Mr Surapong, who is also the foreign minister, took over as chief of the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (Capo) on Monday from Deputy Prime Minister Pracha Promnok at the request of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

During an announcement on the change, Pol Gen Pracha dismissed speculation that the move was a result of his inability to handle the rallies, saying that he is still a centre advisor and the situation is still under control.

The prime minister wanted Mr Surapong to help other countries better understand the political crisis, he went on.

The announcement of the Capo leadership change took place before the prime minister appeared on television to deliver a speech countering the demands of protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban.

Mr Surapong is seen to be closer to deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra than Pol Gen Pracha.

Capo is charged with maintaining law and order and overseeing the enforcement of the Internal Security Act in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, one district in Pathum Thani and another in Samut Prakan.

On Monday Mr Surapong launched a campaign urging the international community to support democracy in Thailand.

He made the call during a briefing about the ongoing protests to 37 Bangkok-based ambassadors, eight international organisations and 23 diplomats at the National Defence College, which is being used as a temporary office for the Foreign Ministry while officials are unable to work at their usual premises, which is occupied by demonstrators.

Although the unrest is a domestic affair, Mr Surapong said he expected support from other countries.

He said the Pheu Thai-led government is facing the same fate as the previous administration of then premier Samak Sundaravej and Somchai Wongsawat who were dismissed from post.

"I hope you would make your stance for democracy clearly known and we hope that the United Nations bodies and agencies could make a similar show of support, especially in light of relevant conventions and international laws,'' he told the diplomats.

Mr Surapong said the government has refrained from the use of force and exercised utmost restraint and is determined to resolve the situation by peaceful means.

However, should the situation persist, the government will take appropriate measures to enforce the law according to international norms and standards, he added.

He said protesters are trying to justify unconstitutional acts under the guise of a so-called "people's revolt".

"Contrary to what happened in 2006, this time the military, particularly the heads of the armed forces, have not fallen into this political game. This is because they have learned from past experience that staging a coup is not acceptable to the international community,'' Mr Surapong said.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 03/12/2013 at 03:29 PM
bluebottle you are talking about every political party, so it comes down to money and the yellow side have most of the money.
Discussion 2 : 03/12/2013 at 02:25 PM
At this time of crisis and need, let's focus on the bigger picture instead of personal vendettas.
Discussion 3 : 03/12/2013 at 01:22 PM
“Mr Surapong is seen to be closer to deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra than Pol Gen Pracha”. What does this tell us?
Discussion 4 : 03/12/2013 at 01:07 PM
I don't think this is a good comparison at all. Two totally different cases and countries.
Discussion 5 : 03/12/2013 at 01:04 PM
I will repeat my answer to another post in this forum. Using buying votes as an argument is invalid. Who do you think pays the people massing at different locations in Bangkok now? Normal people have jobs and expenses and can thus not participate in these week long rallies, without any economical support that is.
Discussion 6 : 03/12/2013 at 01:00 PM
Corruption has to stop yes, but your argument is not valid. Who do you think pays the people massing at different locations in Bangkok? Normal people have jobs and expenses and can thus not participate in these week long rallies, without any economical support that is.
Discussion 7 : 03/12/2013 at 12:38 PM
Exactly what help has he asked for? This isn't clear in the article.
Discussion 8 : 03/12/2013 at 09:30 AM
,The blatant corruption needs to stop. How else can you stop a party that buys its votes What I do ask is where we go from here because it could easily go down the same path.
Discussion 9 : 03/12/2013 at 08:45 AM
And what do they want the international community to do? During the forum on reconciliation, foreigners were invited to speak but their advice was met with blank stares and was completely ignored. A better idea would be for the Thaksin regime to have a long and honest look at themselves and try and work out how it came to this.
Discussion 10 : 03/12/2013 at 08:38 AM
seems Surapong doesn't have a problem with loosing face.
Discussion 11 : 03/12/2013 at 08:27 AM
No land ownership or visa's for Americans, no help. Time to start reciprocating with the same rights Thai's are given in the USA if they want help
Discussion 12 : 03/12/2013 at 08:14 AM
"The prime minister wanted Mr Surapong to help other countries better understand the political crisis" Anyone who want's to read a short essay on what has been carried out with this government is well aware of all the miscalculation's executed.
Discussion 13 : 03/12/2013 at 07:01 AM
It is purely a domestic matter to Thailand brought on by the Thais themselves. They have never listened to foreigners before and they fact that they want foreign help (which won't be forthcoming) now just proves how frightened the government are. The Kings speech tomorrow will be very interesting, that is if they want to listen.
Discussion 14 : 03/12/2013 at 04:42 AM
He has misunderstood the whole world. Not a suprise!
Discussion 15 : 03/12/2013 at 03:24 AM
There is no acceptable alternative to the current system of government: democracy. - Why protesters are so busy to make it to an individual case, it must be their own problem, - why involve the whole country in their personal hate campaign against Thaksin!
Discussion 16 : 03/12/2013 at 02:38 AM
What other options are left to Suthep, if is not getting this corrupt government by force. It may not be democratic, but neither is buying the votes of people who have no conscience of vote, having plundered the coffers to fill Thaksin’s, leading the country to the dark place that is communism. But that is the color worn by representing subleaders working for him. Thailand will always be in a hurry for a simple government, prepared, sincere, honest and loyal to the King. Children need a parent, not a corruptor. Be aware of the snake and the sweet words of Eva.
Discussion 17 : 03/12/2013 at 01:58 AM
Why should other countries listen and support this govt? The history of this country has and IMO never listens to other countries when offering advice. Didn't YS just have a forum with international speakers? Did they listen then? NO
Discussion 18 : 03/12/2013 at 01:49 AM
Let me get this straight. When you invite foreign dignitaries, who give you sound and logical advice, then you slap them in the face and ignore everything they said. Now you want foreign governments to assist you? Normally you are complaining that foreign countries are interfering. This is a domestic problem...end of story. If you cant handle it yourself, then clearly something is wrong.
Discussion 19 : 03/12/2013 at 12:17 AM
If I recall correctly Philippines was the first country who used people's power and successfully ended the 20 years office of former President Marcos. During election he was always reelected for he was intelligent, visionary and man of action. He was highly respected by most nations. Thailand, once tried using people's power found very effective tool to remove from an office the prime minister. Rhetoric and charismatic leaders found amusing for people started to flock and follow without careful evaluation and critical thinking if the issues talked about is true or false, facts or allegations; by choice or by force, democratic or dectarorial.

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