RATCHAPRASONG, APRIL 30, 2010: Core United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) leaders have this morning criticized red-shirt protesters who last night conducted a search of Chulalongkorn Hospital for Thai troops.
Core UDD leader Dr. Weng Tochirakarn repeated statements made last night that the search, led by Payap Panket, was “inappropriate, too much, and unreasonable.
“All of the core red-shirts leaders unreservedly apologize to the staff, the patients and their relatives for any inconvenience caused. We deeply regret the incident and guarantee there will be no repeat of last nights incident. We observe all recognized conventions that define hospitals and those who work in them as being neutral and non-partisan to the current political situation”, he said.
Dr. Weng said he and Dr. Cherd Chai will head an investigation committee into the incident and will liaise with Chulalongkorn Hospital director Adisorn Patradul to ensure there is no repeat of the incident and to see what other things the red-shirts could do to facilitate the operation of the hospital.
“In the past we have seen the Abhisit [Vejjajiva] government station troops in the Police Hospital and at temples. Our guards were told that troops had been stationed in the hospital and at about 8.55pm last night 10 shots were fired at our protesters from the direction of Chulalongkorn Hospital.
“Our guards detained a number of Thai soldiers and after questioning them they were released back to their lines. We do not wish to see hospitals or temples used as battle grounds and hope that the government will take the same stance and refrain from using these premises as staging grounds”, he added.
Dr. Weng went on to say the action by Mr. Payap was not condoned by core UDD leaders and broke with the UDDs stated aims of a peaceful protest aimed at bringing about the dissolution of the Thai parliament. “If we would have found soldiers inside Chulalongkorn Hospital last night we would have asked Mr. Adisorn to evict them”, he said.
Today is day 48 of the red-shirts pro-democracy protest against the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and the 28th day protesters have occupied the Ratchaprasong shopping precinct in the heart of Bangkok.