Archive for the ‘anti-government’ Category

Thai government demotes national police chief

November 28, 2008

Thailand‘s government demoted the national police chief on Friday after he failed to end a siege of the capital’s airports by anti-government protesters.

By AMBIKA AHUJA and CHRIS BLAKE, Associated Press Writers

Hundreds of demonstrators, demanding the government’s ouster, stormed Suvarnabhumi international airport on Tuesday and took over the smaller Don Muang domestic airport a day later. The capital remains completely cut off from air traffic, stranding thousands of travelers and dealing severe blows to the economy.

Government spokesman Nattawut Sai-Kau said National Police Chief Gen. Pacharawat Wongsuwan has been moved to an inactive post in the prime minister’s office.

Nattawut declined to comment on the order, issued by Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat.

It was not clear if Pacharawat was removed because the police failed to evict the protesters, but it could be because he apparently made no attempt to negotiate a peaceful end to the crisis, as the government had asked.

Interior Minister Kowit Wattana met with police at a precinct near Suvarnabhumi on Friday.

About 200 police, carrying riot gears and shields, were seen outside airport offices, which are about 400 yards (meters) from the terminal where the protesters are camped out.

The airport takeover capped months of demonstrations by the protesters, who belong to the People’s Alliance for Democracy. They took over the prime minister’s office three months ago, virtually paralyzing the government.

They say they won’t give up until the government steps down.

“We are ready to defend ourselves against any government’s operations to get us out of those places,” said Parnthep Wongpuapan, an alliance spokesman.

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NKorea defectors drop leaflets condemning leader

October 14, 2008

By KWANG-TAE KIM, Associated Press Writer

YEONGJONG ISLAND, South Korea – The North Korean trembled when he spotted the leaflet that had fluttered down from a balloon dispatched from the South. He snatched it, stuffed it into his pocket and ran to the bathroom to read it.

Park Sang-hak says he read that slip of vinyl — which bragged about the good life North Korean defectors were enjoying in South Korea — more than 15 times in disbelief.
An unidentified North Korean defector prepares to launch a huge ... 
An unidentified North Korean defector prepares to launch a huge helium balloon containing some leaflets, seen at bottom of balloon, condemning North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, during an anti-North Korea campaign in water near Yeongjong Island, South Korea. Friday, Oct. 10, 2008. The group of North Korean defectors sent airborne leaflets to their former communist homeland on Saturday, a move expected to further anger North Korea amid lingering tensions on the divided Peninsula.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Fifteen years later, Park is on the other side of the border. He defected to South Korea in 1999 and now helps launch propaganda balloons filled with leaflets denouncing the Stalinist regime.

The 40-foot balloons — fueled by hydrogen and shaped like missiles — are the most direct way to reach people living in one of the world’s most isolated nations. Few North Koreans have access to cell phones or the Internet, and millions have no way of getting in contact with relatives living in South Korea.

For decades, the rival Koreas waged a fierce ideological battle using leaflets, loudspeakers and radio broadcasts across the heavily fortified border. At the height of the propoganda war, South Korea’s military loudspeakers blared propaganda 20 hours a day, according to an official from the psychological unit of the South Korean army. He spoke on condition of anonymity, saying he was not authorized to speak to media.

But then the two Koreas embarked on a path to reconciliation that led to the first landmark summit between their leaders in 2000. They agreed in 2004 to end the propaganda.

Still, activists and defectors continue to send balloons filled with leaflets across the border, despite pleas from Seoul to stop at a time when inter-Korean relations are at their lowest point in years. The activists hope to spark a rebellion to overthrow Kim Jong Il.

Last week, the North threatened to expel South Koreans working at two joint projects north of the border and warned of “new military clashes” if leaflets criticizing Kim — an illegal offense in North Korea — continue.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200
81014/ap_on_re_as/as_koreas_propaganda_l
eaflets;_ylt=Aih.TRB4r3p7APVM6h5W96Ks0NUE

Myanmar soldiers fire weapons into crowd

September 27, 2007

(AP)  YANGON, Myanmar – Soldiers fired automatic weapons into a crowd of anti-government protesters Thursday as tens of thousands defied the ruling military junta’s crackdown with a 10th straight day of demonstrations.

A Japanese Foreign Ministry official told The Associated Press that several people, including a Japanese national, were found dead following Thursday’s protests.

The information was transmitted by Myanmar‘s Foreign Ministry to the Japanese Embassy in Yangon, the official said on condition of anonymity citing protocol.

Read it all at:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/
20070927/ap_on_re_
as/myanmar;_ylt=
ArHdJcB4Bw_9sf9o4D4Vpias0NUE