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State President receives Head of the Office of the President of Mongolia

In Uncategorized on November 25, 2010 at 5:20 pm

State President receives Head of the Office of the President of Mongolia

QĐND – Thursday, November 25, 2010, 20:55 (GMT+7)

State President Nguyen Minh Triet received the Head of the Office of the President of Mongolia, Dashjamts Battulga, in Hanoi on November 25 at the invitation of Head of the State President’s Office Nguyen Van Chien.

State President Triet praised the visit by Mr Dashjamts Battulga, emphasizing that the meeting will make an important contribution to promoting the Vietnam-Mongolia relationship and map out future plans for cooperation between the two offices .

President Triet expressed delight at the traditional friendship between the two countries which has been maintained and developed. Both sides have cooperated to implement some high-level agreements, conduct the exchange of delegations and devise concrete measures to make economic cooperation more effective and practical. He expressed hope that both nations would continue to promote economic cooperation for mutual development and improve people’s living standards.

For his part, Mr Dashjamts Battulga briefed President Triet on the results of the talks between the leaders of the two offices and plans to make further contributions to the development of Vietnam-Mongolia relationship. He affirmed that Mongolia wished to develop relations with ASEAN nations, including Vietnam. Mongolia highlighted Vietnam’s role and status within the region, especially the country’s success as the ASEAN President. Mr Dashjamts Battulga emphasized that the official visit by President Triet in October 2008 gave a fresh impetus to develop the relationship between the two nations, especially to achieve fruitful developments in cooperation in such fields as economics, trade, education and health.

At the 14th session of the inter-governmental committee for cooperation in economics, trade and science and technology recently, both nations devised measures to expand relations and cooperation.

The same day, at the Presidential Office, Head of the State President’s Office Nguyen Van Chien held talks with his counterpart and both leaders signed a cooperative agreement between the two offices.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Head of UN Women visits Vietnam

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Head of UN Women visits Vietnam

QĐND – Wednesday, October 13, 2010, 20:32 (GMT+7)

Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of the UN’s Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) Agency and Chair of the Social Protection Floor Advisory Group, will pay an official visit to Vietnam from Oct. 14-16.

According to the UN office in Vietnam, during her three-day visit, Bachelet will meet with senior Vietnamese officials, attend a discussion on social security with representatives of the Vietnamese government and with partners and organisations on social protection and effective national responses.

The Social Protection Initiative, which is co-led by the International Labour Organisation and the World Health Organisation, is a global social policy promoting integrated strategies that guarantee a minimum level of social protection for all, including access to essential social services and income security.

According to Bachelet, Social Protection is an effective way of helping Vietnam to mitigate vulnerabilities to external shocks through improving its social protection system and is particularly relevant as the Vietnamese Government has increased its focus on social welfare. It is also particularly pertinent as Vietnam is also focusing on social protection in its national development planning, including the next Socio-Economic Development Plan for 2011-2015.

In her capacity as head of the UN’s agency for Women, Bachelet will also focus on gender inequity in Vietnam and how this links to Social Protection.

Bachelet will raise some of these issues during her meetings with policy makers and partners and will voice the UN’s support for Social Protection – with a particular focus on women, as one of the most vulnerable groups in need of social protection.

The UN, in particular through its multilateral networks and the expertise of specialised agencies like the International Labour Organisation and the World Health Organisation, can support the government in this complex task.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Stock markets head south again

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Movements of VN-Index on August 17. (Photo:’s benchmark VN-Index lost ground on August 17 after jumping 2.66 percent the previous day as investors were wary over bad news came out of Asian stock markets.

The shares of 253 companies and five mutual funds listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange shrank 0.27 percent, or 1.24 points, to finish at 463.52 points.

Among the index members, 53 stocks advanced, 162 retreated, while 43 remained unchanged.

Trading volume decreased by VND200 billion over the previous trading session to VND1.06 trillion as just 36.69 million shares changed hands.

Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Bank or Sacombank (STB) topped the list of most active shares by volume with 1.49 million shares changing hands.

Vinh Son – Song Hinh Hydropower Joint Stock Company (VSH) ranked second with 1.38 million shares, followed by Ha Tien Transport Joint Stock Company (HTV) with 1.15 million shares.

From July 23 to 30, Tran Minh Huy, chief accountant of Ha Tien Transport Joint Stock Company (HTV) sold all 3,000 shares to pay tuition fees for his children.

From July 6 to 30, Nguyen Tuan Anh, director of HTV sold all 5,000 shares for personal needs.

Urban Development and Construction Corporation (UDC) declined 4.95 percent to VND17,300.

Lu Gia Mechanical Electric Joint Stock Company (LGC) lost 4.91 percent to VND27,100.

Stationery producer Thien Long Group Corporation (TLG) gave up 4.85 percent to VND29,400.

The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange announced that stocks of Interfood Shareholding Company (IFS) would be suspended from trading on the city bourse since August 17 as the company has been running at a loss for two consecutive years. The company lost more than VND260 billion in 2008, and VND27.7 billion in 2009.

From August 13 to October 13, Pang Tee Chiang, chairman of Interfood Shareholding Company (IFS), registered to buy 221,520 shares, increasing his holdings to 6,921,549 shares, of which 5,499,840 shares were unlisted.

Meanwhile, Ha Tien 1 Cement Joint Stock Company (HT1), Lilama 10 Joint Stock Company (L10), and South Logistics Joint Stock Company (STG) all shot up the daily maximum allowed limit of 5 percent to VND12,600, VND37,800, and VND37,800 respectively.

In the north, Hanoi-based HNX-Index slipped 3.92 points, or 2.8 percent, to 136.19 points. Trading volume fell by 15 percent over the previous session to just above 29 million shares, worth VND729.86 billion.

The UPCoM-Index slid 1.45 points to 49.13. A total of 224,200 shares were traded at VND3.94 billion as of lunchtime.

Source: SGGP

Mass evacuation underway as Pakistan floods head south

In Uncategorized on August 6, 2010 at 7:19 am

KARACHI, Aug 6, 2010 (AFP) – Pakistan’s beleaguered authorities braced for a deluge in the country’s farming heartland, evacuating half a million people from at-risk areas in the south as the worst floods in living memory worsened.

The overall number of people affected by the two-week-old crisis has risen to more than four million after the floods washed away entire villages in the northwest, and anger at the government response is intensifying.

Displaced Pakistani families are seen evacuating a flash flood-hit area in Mehmood Kot on August 5, 2010. AFP

With the death toll already numbering 1,500, authorities in the densely populated southern province of Sindh warned that major floods were expected this weekend in fertile agricultural areas along the swollen Indus river.

“We have a target evacuation of at least 500,000 people who live in 11 most vulnerable districts,” said provincial irrigation minister Jam Saifullah Dharejo, saying many towns and villages were in danger.

Further north in Punjab, an AFP reporter Thursday saw an exodus of people streaming out of flooded villages, wading barefoot through water, cramming belongings onto donkey carts and into cars under heavy rain.

“Altogether, more than four million people are in one way or another affected,” said Manuel Bessler, who heads the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Pakistan.

“What we are facing now is a major catastrophe,” he said.

Officials warned that dams could burst as heavy rain lashed the Punjab town of Kot Addu, transforming the area into a giant lake.

“All these villages are dangerous now. We are evacuating the population. Important installations are in danger,” said Manzoor Sarwar, police chief for Muzaffargarh district.

Survivors lashed out at authorities for failing to come to their rescue and provide better relief, piling pressure on a cash-strapped administration straining to contain Taliban violence and an economic crisis.

“Everybody is leaving. We came out empty-handed. We didn’t have enough time to take our belongings,” Ghulam Mustafa, 26, told AFP in Mehmood Kot, a village about six hours’ drive south of Lahore, the capital of Punjab.

Particular scorn has been heaped on the deeply unpopular President Asif Ali Zardari for pressing ahead with a visit to Europe at the height of the disaster.

Although Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said “relief items in sufficient quantity” have been provided, many people say they have received no assistance from the government.

Islamic charities — some with suspected links to extremist militants — have been steeping into the breach on the ground, as international aid steps up.

UN special envoy Jean-Maurice Ripert Thursday visited affected areas in the northwest, where officials say water levels are receding even as the flood surge begins to menace Pakistan’s more populous south.

As Zardari prepared for talks Friday in London with Prime Minister David Cameron, British charities grouped as the Disasters Emergency Committee launched an urgent appeal on TV and radio for donations.

“In the aftermath of the floods, there is a serious risk to survivors from potentially deadly diseases which will spread as a result of contaminated surface and drinking water,” a DEC spokesperson said.

The US government — which warned Thursday that Al-Qaeda’s core in Pakistan remains the “most formidable” terrorist group threatening the United States — has now pledged a total of 35 million dollars in flood aid.

US military helicopter relief missions are going into the worst-hit northwestern regions, the US embassy said.

Source: SGGP

Pharmaceutical price hikes rear their ugly head

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2010 at 11:17 am

Domestic and foreign drug manufacturers began to increase prices after a several month hiatus as responsible agencies mulled ways to control the market.

Drugstore assistants on Hai Ba Trung Street in district 1 said that domestic and foreign pharmaceutical companies raised the price of some medications, including antibiotics, antipyretic and varieties of vitamins in the beginning of July. For instance, vitamin B1 injections have increased 10 percent (from VND44, 000 to VND47, 000).

Vitamin B1 injections  is one of drugs  that have hiked recently.  It has  increased 10 percent (from VND44, 000 to VND47, 000)

Shop owners of wholesale markets on To Hien Thanh Street in district 10 complained their retailers did not agree to pay more because they have pledged not to increase prices for special items.  They said their proposal of delaying price hikes or implementing attractive promotions to calm retailers has not provoked a response from pharmaceutical firms.

Meanwhile, drug distributors blamed fluctuating prices of materials, recent changes in exchange rates and increased transport expenditures.

According to a recent survey conducted by the Vietnam Pharmaceutical Companies Association (VNPCA), of 70 domestic pharmaceutical enterprises, 17 have announced price adjustments of several drugs.

In Hanoi, the average rate of increase is 4.8 percent, while it is 5 percent in Ho Chi Minh City. The price of seven foreign-made medicines has gone up at a rate of 4.9 percent.

Although the price for various medications has soared, pharmaceutical items are listed as essential commodities and the Drug Administration of Vietnam has insisted on stable prices for medication.

The drug administration said it is implementing measures to fight price increases, including a pilot project to control retail profit surpluses of drugs used in hospitals, which are fully financed by the public budget.

Source: SGGP

Vietnam receives Action Aid International head

In Uncategorized on July 17, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Vietnam receives Action Aid International head

QĐND – Saturday, July 17, 2010, 20:48 (GMT+7)

Vietnam always supports and creates favourable conditions for Action Aid International’s operation in the country.

Vice State President Nguyen Thi Doan made the pledge while receiving Joanna Derobah Kerr, General Director of Action Aid International in Hanoi on July 16.

Doan thanked Action Aid International for its contribution to supporting sustainable development, hunger alleviation and poverty reduction as well as humanitarian activities in Vietnam, especially in disadvantaged areas in northwest and central regions.

She also said she hoped that the organisation will continue to give support to Vietnam, especially in helping disadvantaged women, creating jobs and assisting vulnerable people, including women, children, disabled people and victims of Agent Orange.

General Director Joanna Derobah Kerr spoke highly of Vietnam’s efforts in the poverty and hunger fight and the implementation of social development goals.

Action Aid International will continue to implement its humanitarian activities in Vietnam in the future, she said.

Source: VNA

Photo: Vietnam+

Source: QDND

IMF head laments ‘loss of momentum’ in financial reform

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 4:25 am

World leaders’ commitment to global reforms of the financial sector is flagging, IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn said on Thursday

 World leaders’ commitment to global reforms of the financial sector is flagging, IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn said on Thursday.

“I am sometimes a bit worried about the loss of momentum” in the reform of the financial sector, in face of the “huge” task ahead, Strauss-Kahn told a conference.

Previously, “leaders were very committed to do something in the financial sector but as the crisis vanished, most of them are more concerned by domestic questions,” the head of the International Monetary Fund said.

“It would be unfair to say that the momentum has disappeared … nevertheless I don’t see the pressure as big and strong as it was a few months ago,” Strauss-Kahn added.

Governments in the United States and Europe have been scrambling to revamp and adapt banking rules since the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers in September 2008 sparked a global credit crunch.

The IMF however has said that more direct measures than those proposed so far are needed, such as levies tied to risk presented by individual banks or limits to the size of their business.

Strauss-Kahn also said he was concerned about the consistency in priorities in financial reform across borders, citing different approaches in the United States and Italy as examples.

“Having an inconsistent system in the biggest economies … is of course creating new cause for regulatory arbitrage and the trigger for the next crisis.

“The countries having experienced some problems in the financial sector, namely the US and the European countries, are really keen to do something,” he said.

However, those countries that have not had major problems in the financial sector, like Canada and some emerging economies, tend to say that major reforms are not needed, he added.

Source: SGGP

Aid ships head to Gaza as Israeli warships gather

In Uncategorized on May 31, 2010 at 5:18 am

A flotilla of ships carrying activists and aid for the blockaded Gaza Strip on Sunday finally steamed south from Cyprus, heading for a fleet of Israeli naval vessels determined to stop them.

The ships, carrying more than 700 passengers, are on the last leg of a high-profile mission to deliver some 10,000 tonnes of building and other supplies to Gaza, which has been under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007.

Huwaida Arraf, chairman of the Free Gaza Movement, told AFP by phone from the boat Challenger 1 that the ships had started towards Gaza at around 3:00 pm (1200 GMT) on Sunday.

Israel is blocking an area about 20 nautical miles out from the Gaza coast and we expect to hit that area in the late morning or early afternoon” on Monday, she said.

A Palestinian boy flashes the V-sign for victory as hundreds of Palestinians waited aboard fishing boats at the port of Gaza City to greet the so-called Freedom Flotilla.

About six hour after their departure, three Israeli missile boats left their naval base in the northern coastal city of Haifa on a mission to intercept the flotilla, reporters on board one of the vessels said before being told to turn off their phones.

In Gaza, anti-siege activists called on the international community to ensure the protection of the “Freedom Flotilla” which had been aiming to arrive on Saturday but was repeatedly delayed.

“I am asking the international community to protect these boats from the Israeli threat,” independent Palestinian MP Jamal al-Khudari told a news conference on a boat anchored outside the Gaza port.

“If Israel blocks them, they have a strategy for getting here,” said Khudari, who heads the Gaza-based Committee to Lift the Siege. He did not elaborate.

With the flotilla expected to approach at some stage over the next 24 hours, Gaza fishermen took to the sea flying Palestinian flags as well as those of Greece, Ireland, Sweden and Turkey — all of which sent boats.

Demonstrators also released scores of balloons with pictures tied to them of children killed during Israel’s massive 22-day offensive against Gaza that ended in January 2009.

Israel has slammed as “illegal” the convoy’s attempt to break the Gaza blockade and its navy is ready to intercept the ships, tow them to the Ashdod port and detain the pro-Palestinian activists.

Several Israeli warships could be seen off the Gaza coast, an AFP photographer said.

Khudari said the convoy, which is carrying hundreds of civilians and a handful of European MPs, would stop outside Gaza territorial waters before attempting to make landfall.

It will travel “in two stages,” he said: “First they will stop in international waters at 30 nautical miles (from Gaza), and tomorrow (Monday) they will reach the shore.”

Audrey Bomse, legal adviser to the Free Gaza Movement, said the flotilla was likely to avoid a confrontation with the Israeli army during hours of darkness.

She also said the activists were considering sending “a second wave” of boats later this week.

Israel has called the convoy a media stunt, insisting there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza despite reports to the contrary from aid agencies and offering to deliver the supplies through its own land crossings.

“This is a provocation intended to delegitimise Israel,” Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said on Saturday.

“If the flotilla had a genuine humanitarian goal, then its organisers should have transferred something for the abducted soldier Gilad Shalit as well,” he said of the Israeli snatched by militants in 2006 and held by the Hamas Islamist movement which runs the enclave.

The activists responded on their website that they had offered to take in a letter for Shalit from his family but received no response from their lawyer.

Hamas’s refusal to release Shalit is cited by Israel as one of the main reasons for imposing the economic blockade on Gaza in the wake of the group’s violent takeover of the territory.

The confrontation with the flotilla could cost Israel tens of millions of dollars as it detains the activists, pays for docking the ships and transports the aid to Gaza, the online business magazine Globes reported.

It said the detention facility alone had cost three million shekels (780,000 dollars, 640,000 euros) and the costs of holding the activists would mount if they refuse to accept Israel’s offer to buy them tickets home.

Pro-Palestinian activists have landed in Gaza five times, with another three unsuccessful attempts since their first such voyage in August 2008. The latest is their biggest operation.

Source: SGGP

Leaders of SKorea, Japan, China head to summit

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2010 at 1:15 pm

 Top military commanders gathered in Seoul on Saturday to discuss how to counter North Korean provocations, as leaders of South Korea, China, and Japan headed to the southern island of Jeju for a summit amid tensions over the sinking of a warship blamed on Pyongyang.

International pressure is mounting on North Korea over the sinking of the Cheonan, which killed 46 South Korean sailors in late March in one of the South’s worst military disasters since the 1950-53 Korean War. A multinational team of investigators said last week that evidence proved a North Korean torpedo sank the warship.

North Korea has denied responsibility, and has warned that any retaliation or punishment would mean war.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, who has pledged to take North Korea to the U.N. Security Council, sought backing from key permanent member China, the North’s main ally.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, left, shakes hands with South Korean Prime Minister Chung Un-chan before their meeting at the government house in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, May 29, 2010

Laying out the investigation results, Lee urged Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during talks Friday to play an “active role” in convincing North Korea to admit its wrongdoing, the presidential Blue House said.

Wen told Lee that his country “will defend no one” responsible for the sinking, Lee’s office said.

Beijing will determine its stance after examining the investigation results, Wen told Lee, according to a briefing by presidential adviser Lee Dong-kwan.

The three-way summit on Jeju Island is to focus on economic issues such as a proposed free-trade agreement.

However, South Korean officials said the ship sinking would be at the top of the agenda at the two-day talks, which end Sunday.

The South Korean president announced a slate of punitive measures against the North, including cutting trade, resuming anti-North Korean propaganda broadcasts across the border and launching large-scale naval exercises. U.S.-South Korean military drills are to follow in the coming months.

On Saturday, some 20 military commanders met to discuss responses to the ship sinking, a Defense Ministry official said.

“They discussed how to cope with different types of North Korean military provocations and strengthen defense readiness against the North,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the meeting with the media.

South Korea’s military reported no unusual moves by North Korean troops in the last week, he said.

Japan, giving its backing to Seoul, also instituted new sanctions on North Korea.

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama paid his respects to the dead sailors Saturday during a visit to the National Cemetery in Daejeon, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Seoul, before continuing onto Jeju.

North Korea has accused Seoul of fabricating evidence in the ship sinking.

“The South Korean puppet regime’s faked sinking of the Cheonan has created a very serious situation on the Korean peninsula, pushing it toward the brink of war,” Maj. Gen. Pak Rim Su, director of the powerful National Defense Commission’s policy department, said at a rare news conference covered by broadcaster APTN in Pyongyang.

Source: SGGP

Thai General Khattiya, Red Shirt Backer, Is Shot in Head

In Uncategorized on May 14, 2010 at 8:51 am

The Thai general popularly known as Seh Daeng has never been shy about talking to the press, even if he is coy about owning up to what he has been charged with: providing security for the Red Shirt protest movement and allegedly fielding a death squad to counter death squads associated with the government.

Major General Khattiya Sawatdiphol has been the swashbuckling, profanity-spewing field marshal of the protest movement that has virtually shut down the center of the capital, Bangkok, and withstood military assaults for five weeks. But on Thursday, as he was talking to a reporter from the International Herald Tribune, Seh Daeng was struck in the head by a bullet, an incident captured on video, and rushed to a hospital as the military appeared to have surrounded the Red Shirt encampment.

Thai emergency medical staff rush Maj. Gen Khattiya Sawasdiphol, also known as Seh Daeng’ to surgery after he was shot by a sniper Thursday, May 13, 2010, in Bangkok, Thailand

The attack on Seh Daeng dramatized the collapse of a peace deal between the government and the protest movement. Ten days ago, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva attempted to break the country’s political deadlock by announcing an early election date as part of a compromise aimed at ending the occupation of a key commercial district in Bangkok by thousands of anti-government protesters. But the rebels refused to end their protests, apparently because of a split among their leaders, who reportedly include more than 20 people ranging from opposition members of parliament to former communist revolutionaries, anti-monarchists and rogue military officers like Seh Daeng. Earlier on Thursday, with the protesters still refusing to leave, Abhisit said an early election was off the table. By evening, Seh Daeng was shot. He is in a coma, but doctors say he will survive. Local reports claim that Seh Daeng had been in a heated argument with other Red leaders not long before he was shot.

The Thai military had accused the rebel general of being behind the “Ronin Warriors,” a gang that has apparently gone after government targets with grenade attacks. He has denied the charge but said it is only fair that a death squad is helping the protesters since the government seemed to have its own “men in black” attacking the demonstrators and their sympathizers. “Ronin” is a reference to masterless Japanese samurai. Seh Daeng himself had been ostracized by his masters in the military. According to the journalist Richard Ehrlich, who interviewed him on Tuesday, Seh Daeng, one of the Thai army’s most experienced strategists, was reassigned to teach aerobics in 2008. He reportedly responded to the insult by saying, “I have prepared one dance. It’s called the ‘Throwing a Hand Grenade’ dance.”

There was much speculation that Seh Daeng was manipulating the Red Shirt protest in order to give his allies in the military an opportunity to stage a coup. He is believed to have coordinated and to be responsible for dozens of grenade attacks around Bangkok during the past two months. He is close to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 coup and lives abroad rather than serve a prison sentence for a corruption conviction. Seh Daeng visited Thaksin in Dubai several times, and he coordinated the building of the barricades and military-style operations of the Reds.

The Red Shirts have come to Bangkok primarily from poorer, rural parts of Thailand and are supporters of Thaksin, who won their allegiance with a raft of populist policies including easy credit and universal health care. They claim Abhisit rose to power illegitimately through backroom deals and with the help of the military, and they are demanding that he resign.

The number of demonstrators, once as many as 140,000, has shrunk to less than 10,000 in recent weeks. But they have erected a tent city and improvised fortress in the Rajaprasong commercial district in the heart of Bangkok. The Red Shirts have barricaded themselves inside the district, erecting walls using tires, bamboo spikes and gas containers that are rigged to explode. Rajaprasong is home to shopping malls, luxury apartment buildings, embassies, schools and hospitals. On Thursday, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce said the economic damage caused by the protest was about $2 billion.

The ongoing violence and Abhisit’s announcement have dashed hopes that the two sides could reach a quick and peaceful end to the two-month-old demonstration. A previous attempt on April 10 to disperse the protesters from a different part of Bangkok failed, as paramilitaries among the protesters, reportedly including the Ronin Warriors, fought back against soldiers with grenades and guns. Twenty-nine people were killed, including six soldiers, and more than 800 were wounded.

“I have canceled the election date … because protesters refuse to disperse,” Abhisit told reporters on Thursday. He said he would still proceed with a plan to end political divisions, which he first unveiled when making his offer of holding early elections on Nov. 14. His term legally expires at the end of 2012. “I will proceed with the five-point reconciliation plan,” the Prime Minister said. The plan includes steps to build a social-welfare system and address injustices and political grievances. Protest leaders had earlier said they accepted the plan in principle but then began issuing more demands on a daily basis and ultimately refused to abandon their occupation.

In the meantime, the government began taking steps to choke off logistical support for the protest. It positioned more troops around the demonstration site. Checkpoints were set up to stem supplies of food and other equipment, and to restrict the movements of the demonstrators who had staged raids on parliament, the office of the election commission and other sites in recent weeks. “We have been having some success against them,” said Panitan Wattanayagorn, a government spokesman. “They can no longer roam freely around Bangkok.”

The protesters, however, remained undaunted by the security moves against them and noted that they have their own electrical generators. “We don’t fear anything the government can do to us,” protest leader Weng Tojirakan told followers from the main rally stage. “We are fighting for justice.”

Source: SGGP