Maj-Gen. Chamlong, a retired senior military officer and former Bangkok governor himself, is the second key PAD chief for whom arrest warrants were issued in late August. The arrest was made despite a no-action truce being in place between the PAD and government negotiator’s led by Deputy Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh.
Gen. Chamlong was taken into custody at a polling booth in an army-dominated Dusit district constituency and is now being questioned at a border patrol police unit in the adjacent province of Pathum Thani.
As Sunday is public holiday, the PAD leader will be detained at the border patrol police unit until Monday when police can formally request the Criminal Court for permission to detain him for another 12 days. Police are unlikely to grant a bail request for him.
On Friday, police apprehended PAD core leader Chaiwat Sinsuwong, who is now being detained at Bangkok Special Prison. Police on August 27 issued arrest warrants for nine of the group’s leaders on charges of insurrection, conspiracy, and illegal assembly on the part of more than 10 persons and refusing orders to disperse. The warrants imposed on the nine leaders spelled out serious criminal charges punishable by death or life imprisonment.
The charges were filed after the PAD seized Government House, the seat of the Thai government, several ministries and state agencies in a bid to oust the government which it accused of being a proxy of ousted, fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
The arrest of the duo is expected to scuttle ongoing attempts by the coalition government of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat to negotiate with the PAD core leaders on ways to end the domestic political crisis.
The PAD charges that government is a proxy of ousted, fugitive premier Thaksin and has demanded that the government leave office. (TNA)