Anti-government protestors seize Thai state television station

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Bangkok, Aug 26 (UNI) Anti-government protestors seized a state-run television station in the Thai capital this morning even as thousands of its supporters converged outside the Prime Minister's office to demand the government's resignation.

Cadres of the influential People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) entered the premises of the state-run National Broadcasting Service of Thailand (NBT) and forced its live news broadcast off the air.

The station was airing pre-recorded programmes after a temporary black out.

The PAD, which had mobilised mass protests against former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra two years ago leading to his ouster by a section of the armed forces, has declared it will bring government work to a standstill today.

Tens of thousands of PAD supporters were expected to turn out in front of Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej's office to demand his resignation.

The PAD accuses Mr Samak's government of being a proxy for Mr Thaksin after the latter was barred from public life for five years by a judicial tribunal set up following the September 2006 coup.

Thousands of PAD protestors rallied last week outside the British Embassy and the Thai Foreign Ministry demanding Mr Thaksin's extradition from Britain where the ousted leader is seeking political asylum.

Mr Thaksin and his wife had to appear before a court in Bangkok on August 11 to answer corruption charges. The duo were allowed to travel abroad by the court after his wife was freed on bail following a three-year jail sentence for tax evasion.

They instead travelled to London from where the former prime minister issued a statement alleging political persecution in Thailand.

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