Ahad, 12 April 2009

Thai PM apologises to Asean and dialogue partners Asean's dialogue partners include China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, India and Australia.

Abhisit also announced that the state of emergency in Pattaya and Chon Buri had been lifted, just seven hours after the demonstrators had laid siege to the venue of the summits. "I have apologised to all of them, except to Australia. They all understand the situation and expressed their understanding on the matter," said a calm but weary-looking Abhisit, who left without taking questions from the media at the briefing. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd did not arrive today as the East Asian Summit was only scheduled to take place Sunday as originally planned. The announcement by Abhisit tonight was made during a surprise appearance at the media centre of the Pattaya Exhibition and Convention Hall (PEACH), which hours earlier had been overrun by anti-government protestors after they broke through the security cordon. The "Red Shirts" demonstrators, who are aligned to former prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, wanted him to resign and cancel the summits as they claimed that he had been elected illegitimately. Abhisit labelled those who had declared "victory" following the cancellation of the summits as enemies of Thailand. "Whoever declared this cancellation as a victory are enemies of the country," said Abhisit, who had earlier been airlifted to the nearby Utapao Airport to send off his VIP guests. -- BERNAMA

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