Fugitive ‘Red Shirt’ arrested

A FUGITIVE leader of Thailand’s “Red Shirts” who escaped a police raid by abseiling down the front of a hotel has surrendered after 20 months on the run.

Arisman Pongruangrong, a pop singer turned activist, faces charges that include terrorism.

“I only called for democracy, not the destruction of anyone or anything, but now there is no more necessity to stage a rally because we have a government that comes from the people’s voice,” he said yesterday.

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The Red Shirts opposed the government of the then premier, Abhisit Vejjajiva, and generally supported ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 military coup.

Thailand’s new government, led by the sister of the still-fugitive Mr Thaksin, is considered closely aligned with the Red Shirt protesters.