Mon, April 13, 2009
World > Asia-Pacific > Violence in Thailand

Thai official: ASEAN leaders to re-meet in August

2009-04-11 08:29:21 GMT2009-04-11 16:29:21 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BANGKOK, April 11 (Xinhua) -- The leaders of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will meet again in Bangkok in August to sign free trade agreements with China and India, Thai media reported Saturday after the cancellation of ASEAN Summit and Related Summits.

The Nation on its website quoted an official from the Commerce Ministry as saying that the two free trade agreements, the ASEAN-China FTA on investment and the ASEAN-India FTA, were originally scheduled to be signed during Saturday's summits, which has been canceled due to the security concern.

"There should be some discussions on these (agreements) when they are meeting again in August," said the official who asked not to be named, The nation reported.

The ASEAN Summit and Related Summits, scheduled on April 10-12 in Thailand's resort town Pattaya, have been canceled earlier Saturday because of security reason, the Thai government announced.

The announcement came after the red-shirted protesters broke into the summits venue and the media center, which made the summits impossible.

In the meantime, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declared a state of emergency in Chonburi province, where Pattaya is located.

The leaders of the anti-government red-shirts, or the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship(UDD), had previously threatened to disrupt the ASEAN summits if their demands were not met.

Abhisit on Thursday evening in a national TV address turned down UDD's demand for his resignation.

So far the latest round of protests by UDD has entered the 17thday, and since March 27 all of the entrances of the Government House in Bangkok have been blocked by the red-shirts, preventing Abhisit and his cabinet ministers from entering to work.

PATTAYA, Thailand, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Saturday declared a state of emergency in Pattaya, venue of ASEAN and related summits after anti-government protesters broke into the conference center.

The Thai government has decided to postpone the ASEAN plus 3 and plus 6 summits after meeting with other ASEAN countries' representatives, Abhisit said. Full story

BANGKOK, April 11 (Xinhua) -- A group of anti-government protesters on Saturday gathered at Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's residence in Bangkok, demanding him to resign.

The residence, located at Sukhumvit Soi 36, was surrounded by hundreds of supporters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) or the "red-shirted" people, a Xinhua reporter on the scene said. Full story

PATTAYA, Thailand, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Ten representatives of the "red shirt" protestors told foreign media here Saturday that the Thai government should be held responsible for an earlier shooting which seriously wounded two "red shirt" protestors.

Speaking at an impromptu press conference held at the media center, the representatives said two of their demonstrators sustained severe wounds after "blue shirt" protestors opened fire several times. They claimed the "blue shirts" were actually pro-government security forces, so the government should be held accountable for the casualties. Full story

PATTAYA, Thailand, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Anti-government protestors in Thailand who had previously blocked a hotel of Chinese and South Korean delegates attending the summit between the ASEAN and China, Japan and South Korea and the East Asia Summit have retreated.

Several police cars and fire engines remained at the Dusit Thani hotel in the beach resort of Pattaya, where a series of summit meetings are scheduled for the weekend. Full story

PATTAYA, Thailand, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of anti-government "red shirt" protestors held rallies Saturday morning outside the Royal Cliff Beach Resort Hotel, the venue of the 14th ASEAN summit and Related summits, demanding they be given opportunities to meet foreign media.

Ten representatives of "red shirt" protestors have entered the summit venue and held a press conference. They accused the Thai government of being responsible for two injured "red shirt" protestors. Full story

PATTAYA, Thailand, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Anti-government red-shirted protesters battled with local people who formed a line to protect the venue of ASEAN and related summits here Saturday morning, three people injured, Pattaya city governr confirmed.

The clash happened around 8:40 a.m. (0140 GMT) when the red-shirted people formed a line and kept advancing until the two sides stood confronting less than one meter apart, The Nation newswebsite reported.

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