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Conflicts might be inevitable in Thailand
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Thailand's anti-government protesters and government supporters may cause conflicts on Saturday and clash fears were spreading in the capital city of Bangkok.

Chamlong Srimuang, leader of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), said on Friday he was afraid that it was unavoidable for blood to be spilled. He told the crowds at Government House that his speech may be the last one or next before last since the outbreak of violence is looming.

Chamlong warned that PAD-led protesters will not allow the opposing crowds led by former deputy national police chief Salang Bunnag to dislodge them from Government House.

He said the PAD is conducting a review whether non-violence remains an option under the circumstances, particularly when confronting with armed crowds from the Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship.

He said the PAD would not allow the House to go ahead with the charter rewrite and that it would try to derail the planned debate on the issue scheduled for Oct. 28. He did not say how the PAD would disrupt the debate to form the Constitution Drafting Assembly.

Former deputy national police chief Salang Bunnag has vowed to lead a siege of Government House in order to force the PAD to vacate the seat of government.

Anti-coup protesters led by the Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship have signaled their support for Salang-led attempt to drive out the PAD from the government compound.

Meanwhile, Thailand's Metropolitan Police Commissioner Suchart Muenkaew said Friday that police would be able to control the situation on Saturday when former deputy police chief threatened to lead government supporters to besiege the Government House.

Suchart said if an untoward incident happens, he would increase the number of police on duty from eight companies to 17 companies and might seek reinforcements from soldiers.

However, he pointed out that the police did not expect any violence on that day.

Chart Thai Party leader Banharn Silapa-archa also said on Friday that a doom scenario for opposing crowds from three sides to clash on Saturday might cause the country to plunge deeper into animosity and cause untold damages to the economy,

Banharn said he hoped all sides to exercise restraints because if violence broke out, it might inflict more casualties than previously seen since 1927 when the country switched to democracy.

Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat flew to Beijing on Thursday to attend the two-day summit of the Asia-Europe Meeting that begins on Friday.

(Xinhua News Agency October 24, 2008)

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