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Thai protesters make summit plans
Posted on: 09-04-2009 , 04:: | DY365 Bureau

Security has been stepped up in Pattaya, about 150 km south of Bangkok, known for its racy nightlife and port of call for U.S. sailors, after Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's car was attacked this week near the summit venue.

Some 30,000 red-shirted supporters of ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra assembled on Thursday in an area around Abhisit's office in central Bangkok, demanding he resign and severely snarling traffic.

"I appeal to the 'red shirts' in Pattaya and nearby, as this government is not legitimate," protest leader Jatuporn Prompan said from a stage at Government House. "The ways into the (conference) hotel should be full of red shirts."

Foreign ministry spokesman Tharit Charungvat told Reuters in Pattaya security was in place and contingencies drawn up.

"We want to solve these problems without any confrontation. The prime minister has stressed the situation is under control and we have nothing to worry about," he said.


The East Asia Summit was set to endorse policies to restore financial stability and economic growth, according to a draft declaration.

The annual summit that begins on Friday will also make a stand against trade protectionism amid the worsening global economy.

"They agreed that the world is facing a global recession of unprecedented dimensions and called for policy responses that focus on restoring financial stability and economic growth and development," says the draft obtained by Reuters on Thursday.

The leaders will stress the critical importance of "standing firm against protectionist and distortionary measures" and refraining from raising new trade barriers. They will also call for a "prompt, ambitious and balanced conclusion" to the Doha round of world trade talks.

The East Asia Summit groups the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and its six "dialogue partners" -- China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

The annual summit among leaders of Asia's export-dependent economies hopes to build on a foundation laid at last week's Group of 20 summit in London, which agreed a $1.1 trillion blueprint to rescue the global economy.

But the leaders may also make a separate statement about North Korea's rocket launch, which North Korea says put a communications satellite into orbit but is widely seen as a disguised missile test.

China, Japan and South Korea will meet on the sidelines to discuss the issue, with Tokyo pushing ASEAN leaders to draft a stand-alone statement, Southeast Asia diplomats said.

China will not accept any statement that strongly condemns the North, diplomats said. The U.N. Security Council has failed to agree on a response to the launch, mainly because China and Russia remain unconvinced it was a violation of U.N. resolutions.


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