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Phuket protest leaders summonsed for blocking Feb 2 election

PHUKET: Five leaders of the anti-government protesters who successfully blocked the general election of February 2 in Phuket are at Thalang Police station this morning to answer a summons on charges of hindering the work of election officers.

By Suthicha Sirirat

Thursday 27 February 2014, 10:52AM

Undeterred: Surathin Lianudom.

Undeterred: Surathin Lianudom.

Surathin Lianudom, also known as Kamnan Sang, the leader of the more radical group of anti-government protesters in Phuket, the Patriotic Rebels, along with Sanya Srimuang, Saman Kraulek, Chatchai Cheuchit and Sompaup Kaunkiew, were summonsed after a complaint lodged by Jirayuth Songyod.

Mr Surathin said last night, “All the five leaders who received summonses will go to Thalang Police Station with our legal team. We expect some of his protestors will accompany us to give us support.”

The five were leaders of a large group that blockaded the police station at the time of the election, blocking the distribution of ballot sheets and boxes, which had been stored in the police station for safekeeping.

“I knew this protest was definitely going to result in a summons,” Mr Surathin said, “but we did it with good intent, which is constitutional. We want reform [of the political system] before elections [are held] so we do not agree with the election [going ahead]. We want a transparent election.”

The summons has not deterred him from campaigning against the government, he said. “We will continue to protest. The protest at Thalang Police Station showed that we did not agree with the election.

“But election officials did not come [to the police station] to collect the ballot boxes. We did not interfere with the voters.”

Mr Surathin added, “The Patriotic Rebels will continue to protest, taking non-violent actions in parallel with those of Kamnan Suthep [Thaugsuban, national leader of the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee].

“We want the government and the police to focus on those people who are now causing a lot of death, especially the deaths of innocent children.” Two children died in a grenade blast on Sunday (February 23) aimed at protesters at the Rachaprasong protest site in Bangkok.

“We mourn for the children who died because of these people. We want the police to catch the offenders now so that they can be punished.”

Mr Suratin also revealed that he is being watched by sinister, unidentified people.

“I want to request the people who have been following me to my house for the past three nights to know that I know they following me. Don’t follow me again because I know my way home. I don’t need anyone to accompany me.”



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