The Thai government has ordered former deputy premier Praphas Charusathien out of the country within seven days in an attempt to defuse a political crisis caused by his return from exile.
GV: demonstrators through street (2 shots)
GV: demonstrators at rally (4 shots)
GV: parliament building
CU: Army General interviewed
CU: Boonchu Rojansthien of Opposition Party interviewed.
SV: Seni Pramoj down steps and meets newsmen (3 shots)
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Background: The Thai government has ordered former deputy premier Praphas Charusathien out of the country within seven days in an attempt to defuse a political crisis caused by his return from exile.
SYNOPSIS: Seven people were injured when more than 15,000 students held a rally inside the campus of their university. They were demanding the arrest of Field Marshal Praphas, former military strongman, whose surprise return to Bangkok from exile threw Thailand into a political crisis. The decision that the former deputy premier should leave the country was reached after a cabinet meeting and lengthy negotiations between ministers and top military officers. Observers in Bangkok said this was not likely to satisfy some 20,000 students, who held a rally to demand the arrest of the 63-year-old Field-Marshal. He came to Bangkok to seek medical treatment, after almost three year of self-imposed exile in Taiwan. His unexpected return prompted demands by some ministers that he be expelled immediately. The students want Field Marshal Praphas to be put on trial for alleged personal responsibility for the deaths of 72 people in mass demonstrations in October 1973, which toppled the government in which he was deputy premier.
The return to the country of the strongman in the former military government was announced by Prime Minister Seni Pramoj, who ordered the police and the army to find him. Mr. Seni said that further consideration was needed before he could say whether the Field Marshal would be arrested if found.