Thai police left red-faced after botched raid on protesters
Published 17/04/2010 | 05:00
Thailand's crisis-stricken government suffered further humiliation yesterday when leaders of the Red Shirt protest movement escaped from under the noses of police sent to arrest them.
Suthep Thaugsuban, the Deputy Prime Minister, had boasted earlier of imminent success. "As I am speaking, special forces are surrounding the SC Park Hotel where we believe the terrorists and their leaders are staying," he said on live television.
Within an hour, however, Thai television was showing images of one of those leaders, Arisman Pongruangrong, escaping from the Bangkok hotel on the end of an electrical cable.
He then returned to a hero's welcome in the central Ratchaprasong district, along with five fellow leaders -- in the company of a police general and colonel.
"The police came willingly," Mr Arisman said.
"There are police who don't want to obey the order of the government because they don't like the government. We are lucky that there are also 'watermelon' soldiers -- they are green on the outside but red on the inside." (© The Times, London)