Thai Curfew Extended Through Saturday


by NTDTelevision

And in Thailand, a curfew is in place through Saturday night to prevent any new waves of violence. It comes as months of anti-government protests died down in the Thai capital and across the country.

Thailand is extending a night curfew in Bangkok and 23 provinces until Saturday, to prevent further unrest after riots and a string of arson attacks.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva says the midnight to 4 a.m. curfew will help to bring peace.

[Abhisit Vejjajiva, Thai Prime Minister]: Thai male
"The curfew extension is to control the situation in Thailand to bring peace. It will also help monitor any attacks that might happen. We will try to reduce the impact on businesses and businessmen."

Violence peaked last week when almost 40 buildings were set on fire… as the army dispersed thousands of "red shirt" anti-government protesters, who had taken over the commercial heart of the city.

And in other news… a Thai court issued orders on Tuesday to arrest former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on terrorism charges in connection with the recent riots.

Thai prosecutors and the Foreign Ministry are launching a global hunt for Thaksin.

[Abhisit Vejjajiva, Thai Prime Minister]: Thai male
"We are monitoring his (Thaksin) movements to see where is he going, then we will ask for cooperation from those countries. Right now, there are many countries that do not permit him entry, but this is not every country."

Government officials say Thaksin funded the 10-week anti-government protests to the tune of about $1.5 million a day. He’s believed to have organized the smuggling of arms and fighters from Cambodia.

Thaksin was last believed to be in France for the Cannes (pron Cahn) film festival, but he kept his location a secret.

If convicted, he can be sentenced to death.

The "red shirts" mostly support Thaksin, who was prime minister until 2006 when he was ousted in a coup.

Thaksin denies the terrorism charges.