“Our main priorities are justice and democracy” – UDD leadership

At the UDD’s weekly press conference on Friday, Red Shirt leaders reacted to the Pheu Thai government’s recent cabinet reshuffle that denied Jatuporn Prompan a ministerial position, and addressed the growing frustration among Red Shirts that the Pheu Thai government is losing sight of its priorities.

Jatuporn shared his thoughts on the cabinet decision

The goal of the Red Shirts is to push for democratic change in Thailand, not to win positions of power in government. We mustn’t tire in our struggle.

He also condemned unwarranted rumours that he would consider switching parties and that he had been offered financial compensation in exchange for being denied a ministerial position.

Let’s not listen to these divisive rumours, they are only trying to weaken us in our fight for justice.

Nevertheless, he expressed some concern about the direction in which the government is heading,

This was an act of government self-censorship. The Pheu Thai party are afraid of the amaat…before the election they cared about the people, but they’ve since spent too much time and energy appealing to the military and other elite institutions… They risk losing their way.

The UDD leadership reaffirmed their commitment to working alongside their allies in parliament, but also offered words of caution to the government.

Chairwoman Tida said,

It was thanks to the Red Shirts that the Pheu Thai government came to power, and they can’t forget it. We are the water and they are the boat. Without water, the boat is landlocked, and torrential waters can also sink the boat.

Dr Weng also spoke at Friday’s conference about the withheld report on the investigation into the April 2009 crackdown against Red Shirt protestors. The report includes the mysterious death of Private Apinop, a soldier who was found dead at the Army Regional Commander’s residence where Abhisit took refuge during the crackdown. Pheu Thai representatives have questioned the official storyline, which states that Apinop died from slipping in the bathroom and hitting his head against the toilet.

Dr Weng said,

This report should be released to the public, the Thai people deserve to know the truth.


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