September 29, 2008

Anti-Gov’t Protesters Clash With Airport Security Personnel As Thai PM Visits South

Anti-gov't protesters clash with airport security personnel as Thai PM visits south

BANGKOK, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Anti-government protesters organized by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) clashed with airport security personnel shortly after the arrival of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat in Thai southern province Surat Thani Saturday, local media reported.

The incident took place after Somchai was leaving the airport and confronted a group of PAD protesters, according to Thai News Agency.

Minor clashes between security personnel and the PAD took place but no casualties were reported.

Somchai was making a day-visit to his hometown in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, near Surat Thani.

The PAD protesters on Friday threatened to close airports in the region in civil obedience against Somchai, a brother-in-law of ousted ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who is now seeking political asylum in Britain.

Somchai told journalists at Bangkok's Don Mueang airport before leaving for Surat Thani that a proposal made jointly by 24 rectors of state and privately-run universities following their meeting on Thursday, which asked him to promote political reform by establishing an independent four-point Reform Commission, was " interesting", but he preferred not speak much on politics at present.

He said opinions on resolving local political turmoil could be discussed without a problem, only on the basis that the country must adhere to the constitutional mornachy system.

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