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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Phuket yellow shirts in wild show of patriotism over Cambodia

PHUKET: About 30 local yellow-shirt activists yesterday put on a show in the center of Phuket Town mocking the Thai government’s handling of the recent arrest and trial of seven Thais by the Cambodian authorities.

The People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) members also denounced Cambodian premier Hun Sen, claiming the Thais were arrested on land that belongs to Thailand.

The performance took place at Surin “Clocktower” Circle from 4pm and attracted interest from many passers-by who pulled over to see what was going on.

Led by Phuket PAD leaders Aparat Chartchutikumjorn and Krit Thepbamrung, the group started their activities with a satirical play.

The first part of the performance showed Thai Defense Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan giving away Thai land to Hun Sen.

The group then performed a ceremony cursing the Cambodian PM for alleged crimes against Thai people and the country.

The bizarre ritual involved writing Hun Sen’s name on a chicken egg and throwing it into a paper box. The group stamped their feet, shouting, “Hun Sen must go to hell! Thailand must win!”

The group also distributed leaflets claiming Thailand was about to lose territory to Cambodia. They read a statement criticizing Hun Sen’s behavior and the Thai government’s handling of the issue.

The statement said that PAD members had been following the situation closely since the group’s arrest on December 29.

The statement claimed that Cambodian soldiers had arrested the Thais on Thai territory, in violation of treaties between the two countries.

It said the Cambodian authorities had violated the group’s human rights and that the Cambodian court process was not being carried out according to international standards.

It accused the Cambodians of breaking international law, violating Thai sovereignty and showing heavy contempt for Thai nationhood.

The statement also attacked the Thai government, singling out Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya and Defense Minister Gen Prawit for criticism.

It also said government officials in charge of the border issue had been neglectful and weak in their diplomatic dealings with the Cambodian side.

Thailand should be using its power to pressure the Cambodians into releasing the seven. In both its handling of the arrests and the border issue in general, the government had played second-best to Cambodia, it said.

The statement called for the government to change its position and help the group return to Thailand safely. It also called on the government to take the border issue seriously in order to “defend the Kingdom’s honor”.
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India can compete at big stage but need experience: Gouramangi

Gouramangi''s career graph has been on the rise ever since the Nehru Cup in 2007 when he was brought into the startingeleven in place of Deepak Mandal who injured himself in thevery first game of the tournament against Cambodia.

Buzz up!The 24-year-old Manipuri, who was recently declared theIndian Player of the Year, said what matter is the performanceon the field not the awards and accolades.

"It feels good having scored the first goal but what wasmore important that we made a comeback after being 1-0 down.

Obviously, defensively as a team we could have done better inthe game," he explained.

"I think the most difficult thing for every player is towake up and go to training, stay fit and maintain the highstandard. I have to work on this every day. The awards comelater. I must thank Churchill Brothers for showing theirbelief in me.

"And, of course I thank Karim (Bencherifa) for giving memy first break," he said of the former Churchill Brotherscoach and now in-charge of Salgaocar.

Gouramangi has already built a reputation of scoringimportant goals for the country and most of his goals havecome from free-kicks and corner kicks.

His first goal came against Maldives in the 2008 SAFF Cupin India''s 1-0 victory and the second was the winner in thesemifinal against Bhutan in the same competition. His thirdgoal was against Sri Lanka in the 2009 Nehru Cup which helpedIndia win the match.

"The goal against Bahrain was my fourth goal. Most of thegoals I have scored have come from set pieces and cornerskicks. I thank coach Bob Houghton who allowed me to go upduring free kicks and corner kicks," said the ChurchillBrothers defender.
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