Police arrested core leader and ideologue of the People's Alliance for Democracy Maj-Gen Chamlong Srimuang when he showed up to vote in Sunday's election for Bangkok governor.
After he voted, he was removed from the polling station and taken to the Border Patrol Police Region 1 detention at Pathum Thani just north of Bangkok.
Maj Gen Chamlong is the second of nine PAD leaders to be arrested in less than 48 hours. Chaiwat Sinsuwong was detained last Friday, although Maj-Gen Chamlong is considered more important and influential within the PAD movement.
Police had warned all nine wanted PAD leaders they would be arrested if they came out of the Government House protest grounds seized by PAD in August.
They face several criminal charges including a serious allegation of inciting insurrection by their street protests, which began in Bangkok last May 25.
The arrest warrants against the nine include charges of insurrection, conspiracy, illegal assembly and refusing orders to disperse. Insurrection is the legal equivalent of treason.
Sondhi says conspiracy behind PAD leaders' arrest
PAD leader Sondhi Limthongkul charged at the anti-government stage at Government House on Sunday morning that acting Metropolitan Police Bureau chief Jongrak Juthanont was behind the arrests of two PAD core members, Chaiwat Sinsuwong and Maj Gen Chamlong Srimuang.
He further accused politicians, police officials and certain judges of getting together to commit wrongdoings, although he did not name any, other than the police officer.
According to Mr Sondhi, Maj Gen Chamlong was already aware that he could be arrested if he left Government House to cast his ballot in the Bangkok governor election on Sunday. He then lauded Maj Gen Chamlong for being a true military man.
Mr Sondhi seemed uncertain what step to take next. He told supporters they should not try to go the police headquarters where the two are held in Pathum Thani province. He instructed the protesters to continue their Government House vigil.
The PAD leader asked the anti-government group to be patience for now.
Abhisit calls on clear stance from govt
Democrat party and Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva expressed his concern over the arrest of People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) leader Chamlong Srimuang, and called on the government to show its clear stance on this matter quickly.
After casting his ballot in the Bangkok governor election on Sunday morning at Bangkok’s Wattana constituency, the Democrat leader said he is worried about the political consequences following Maj Gen Chamlong’s apprehension, since the government previously announced its intention to negotiate with the PAD.
Mr Abhisit said he will ask Prime Minister and Defence Minister Somchai Wongsawat about the government’s plan to negotiate with the anti-government group during the meeting between political parties on Monday.
The hypocrisy never ceases to amaze me. The charges against the PAD ringleaders are serious. Treason and rebellion are probably the worst crimes to be charged with anywhere in the world.
On the face, those crimes are much worst than anything than that Thaksin has been charged with so far and much more obvious to the layperson. In other words, the PAD's crimes are apparent to all and sundry by the very fact they are occupying GH and won't leave until the government is ousted by any means necessary.
The hypocrisy is that the PAD, who sees itself the prosecutor, judge and jury of its political enemies, can't accept to live under the same laws that everybody else must live under.
Abhisit, the worst hypocrite of all, says it that the government must negotiate with the alleged traitors who have taken over Government House by force, yet this is the same Abhisit who doesn't believe that Thaksin, Samak or any of his political adversaries deserve the same kind of kid gloves treatment.
One has to wonder what song Abhisit would be singing if the Thaksinistas took over the seat of government and agitated for coups and extrajudicial "new politics" by force and blackmail if he were the PM.