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Jatuporn calls red-shirt rally on April 5

Posted by Nuttapon_S On March - 23 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Suthep vows to oppose election if it is held before national reform

United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) leader Jatuporn Promphan yesterday announced a mass rally of red shirts on April 5 but did not specify the venue.

The red shirts yesterday held a mass rally in South Pattaya, Chon Buri, where they organised a rite to mourn the Constitutional Court ruling on Friday annulling the February 2 election.

Jatuporn called on the red shirts to wear black from tomorrow to Sunday to mourn the behaviour of independent agencies.

People’s Democratic Reform Committee chief Suthep Thaugsuban on Friday night said the PDRC would oppose the upcoming election unless it followed national reform.

Suthep said he would soon mobilise anti-government protesters for another mass rally in Bangkok.

“There will be heavier opposition as we call for immediate national reform,” he said.

“An election only comes after that. So don’t try. It will be a waste of energy and budget as the people are not ready to go voting. They want reform.”

Meanwhile, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva called on caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Suthep to come together in televised talks to try and find a solution to the political problems.

Speaking at a PDRC event at Lumpini Park in Bangkok yesterday to raise funds for rice farmers, Abhisit said the Democrat Party, which boycotted the February 2 election, would run in the next election if it was organised fairly and “acceptable to all sides”.

“Unless the PM agrees to hold talks, the country cannot move on,” he said, without revealing if he had discussed the matter with Suthep.

The date for a new general election is yet to be set, with the Election Commission to discuss the matter with the government and the other political parties.

Pheu Thai Party spokesman Prompong Nopparit called on the Election Commissioners to resign and pay the Bt3.8 billion cost incurred in staging the February 2 poll.

His deputy, Anusorn Iamsa-ard, reiterated that there had been a conspiracy by the PDRC and some political parties, independent agencies as well as the military and unidentified forces to topple the government.

Democrat spokesman Ongart Klampaiboon labelled the allegation “groundless” and condemned Pheu Thai for making it.

Suthep said Election Commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn had asked him not to obstruct the February 2 election and had made the same request again.

However, Suthep said the PDRC would not accept the talk coming from politicians.

Like Somchai, he said the EC should not have to pay for the failed election. It was the government’s responsibility.

Suthep and PDRC leader Thaworn Senneam yesterday spoke to PDRC guards about democracy.

Thaworn said the PDRC would keep a close eye on the impeachment case against caretaker Prime Minister YingluckShinawatra.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating her but has yet to decide whether to indict her for alleged negligence in the rice-pledging scheme.

Thaworn said that while holding a new election before national reform was against the stance of the PDRC, it was unclear whether the organisation’s supporters continued to support the same stance.

“Trying to have an election using the same rules will only bring doom to the country,” he said.

“The PDRC leaders will evaluate many factors. Whether we will close the roads [for rallying]. He said it would be up to the PDRC’s leaders to decide whether to ask government officials to join the protest.

Jatuporn new UDD chief

Posted by Rattana_S On March - 16 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Jatuporn Promphan will be the new chairman of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) movement, outgoing leader Thida Thavornseth announced yesterday.

About 6,000 red shirts gathered at Ayutthaya’s provincial stadium yesterday for a meeting that Thida said was aimed at “checking the number of red shirts in different provinces”. She said it was in preparation for future rallies by the red-shirt movement “to promote democracy”.

Bid to sign up 100,000 democracy guards

Posted by Rattana_S On March - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

The number of volunteer “guards to protect democracy” is expected to be at least 100,000 at the end of the month, red-shirt leader Suporn Atthawong said yesterday.

He said over 10,000 volunteers had signed up after the first day of registration in Maha Sarakham on March 1. Meanwhile, leaders of the red-shirts in 20 provinces in the Northeast have been told to recruit at least 1,000 volunteers a province by the end of this month, so that at least 50,000 volunteers register in the Isaan region.

Combining with volunteers from other areas, the number of the red guards should reach 100,000, said Suporn, who is also caretaker deputy secretary general to the prime minister.

The red-shirts’ volunteer guards are not an armed force, and have no plan for any part of the country to secede, but they are a group that supports democracy. But Suporn said they needed physical training to strengthen their bodies as well as learning how to “provide security” effectively. Importantly, they must be disciplined to be under the law, he said.

Suporn said he would sue any person who accuses the red volunteer guards of wanting to secede.

Applicant Lun Biakratoke said he volunteered to campaign to “protect democracy”. He said he felt sorry for Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra enduring tension from political opponents.

Boonnak Sopudsa said he applied as he wanted to “restore democracy” in the country.

In Nakhon Ratchasima, the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee protesters had a war of words with pro-government United Front for Democracy supporters for about 20 minutes near the red guards’ registration venue.

A line of barricades and 50 police officers was between the two groups.

The war of words took place when a PDRC procession of 300 people returned from provincial police region 3 command to its rally base at the Thao Suranaree Monument and past the red shirts’ registration venue. About 200 red shirts were there. The PDRC’s truck stopped and moved on after 20 minutes.

PDRC spokesman Akanat Promphan said yesterday the PDRC would kickstart a national reform process with the forums joined by academics and the people.

The forums, which would be held at the PDRC rally site within Lumpini Park, and would involve three parts.

Resolutions proposed in the academic forum and the “people’s assembly” forum would be presented to the “people’s council and people’s government”, he said.

Each group of participants – academics and members of the public – would discuss six issues for national reform at different times.

Tomorrow’s programme would be on poverty eradication, while the talk on Wednesday would be on fighting corruption, and on Friday they would discuss decentralisation of power. Next Monday (March 17) the topic would be restructuring of the police, while political reform would be discussed on Wednesday week, and bureaucratic reform on Friday March 21, he said.

Thida rules out separating Thailand

Posted by Rattana_S On February - 28 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

A pro-government red shirt leader has rejected the formation of an armed force, nor an idea of separating Thailand to resolve the political conflict.

Thida Thavornseth, chairwoman of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), said red shirt demonstrators have only set up security forces to protect themselves from rival protesters led by Peoples Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) secretary general Suthep Thaugsuban.

She warned several redshirt factions which have independently organised their rallies to be careful in their verbal statements and avoid any activities that could damage the UDD as a whole.

Apparently, she was referring to an earlier statement by a red shirt group which threatened to separate Thailand’s North and Northeast from the kingdom.

Nisit Sinthuprai, a key UDD leader, said redshirt supporters in the northeast would launch a rally at Thung Si Muang in Udon Thani province on the weekend to stress the group’s determination to protect democracy.

The People’s Radio Media Group, another pro-government faction, publicly announced that it would strengthen its demonstration and pressure independent agencies in Thailand.

Group spokesman Sornrak Malaithong said Vicha Mahakhun, a member of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), would be an arrest target, and that the group would follow NACC members wherever they meet after their office in Nonthaburi was sealed off.

Independent agencies must be reformed, he said, and the Election Commission is the next target after which Civil Court judges must be removed.

Redshirt protesters have completely blockaded the NACC main entrance with cement, and put up a stage and tents in front of the compound.