Thailand anti-graft agency urged to probe Yingluck, Red Shirts for secession calls

THAILAND - The Democrat Party has petitioned the national anti-graft agency, calling on it to investigate the prime minister, two Cabinet ministers and 10 red-shirt leaders for rebellion over calls for a separate state in the North.

Wirat Kalayasiri, who heads the party's legal team, said yesterday he had asked the National Anti-Corruption Commission to probe Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan and Deputy Commerce Minister Natthawut Saikua.

The 10 red-shirt leaders include Jatuporn Prompan and Veerakan Musigapong.

Wirat accused the 13 of rebellion for supporting secession from the country.

The idea of partitioning parts of the country was raised at a recent red-shirt meeting and in some provinces where the red-shirt movement is strong.

Wirat alleged that Charupong and Natthawut were present at the red-shirt meeting, with the interior minister even promising government support to implement all proposals by the red shirts.

Some red-shirt leaders proposed the use of violence and suggested there needed to be an armed struggle against anti-government protesters.

Meanwhile, Royal Thai Air Force Commander-in-Chief ACM Prajin Juntong said that the RTAF was considering filing a police complaint against red-shirt leader Wuthipong "Ko Tee" Kotthammakhun for allegedly being behind the display of banners with messages calling for secession.

The banners were displayed at locations such as pedestrian flyovers in Don Muang in Bangkok, an area under the jurisdiction of the RTAF.

Earlier this week, the Army filed a separate police complaint in Chiang Mai and Lamphun against red-shirt leaders who allegedly support a proposal to create a Lanna state in the North.

Wuthipong and his lawyer met yesterday with Metropolitan Police Commissioner Pol Lt-General Camronvit Toopkrajank.

He admitted to having banners displayed because he believed that the red shirts were treated unfairly.

Ko Tee said that Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha had ordered legal action against the red shirts while doing nothing against the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee.

In Chiang Mai yesterday, RTAF officer Wing Commander Poramet Siritanont, at an order from the commander of Wing 41, filed a complaint with Mae Ping Police against red-shirt leader Petchawat Wattanapongsirikul for allegedly supporting secession.

Petchawat said that his local chapter of the red shirts had been planning a so-called Democratic Republic of Lanna for more than six months.

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