On Saturday, more than 100,000 Red Shirts gathered at the Bonanza in Khao Yai for a political rally/concert that lasted well into the early hours of Sunday.
In between acts, Red Shirt speakers discussed the government’s plans to amend the constitution, as well as other goals of the Red Shirt movement.
While the UDD and the Pheu Thai government agree on the need to amend the constitution, several UDD co-leaders are critical of the government’s plans to hold a referendum. On Saturday the speakers argued instead for a third reading of the constitutional amendments in parliament, since they see a referendum as an unnecessary risk.
I am afraid that this referendum will fail… this is not a good strategy of the government. We are not doing this for ourselves, but for future generations.
Tida agreed, and added,
We insist that the parliament should hold a third reading for the amendment of the constitution, and that it should be an open and transparent process. We want the government to be careful and do it step-by-step, in order to protect democracy and justice.
Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra spoke to the crowd via webcast from Beijing. He spoke about the need for an amended constitution, and told the Red Shirts that it is the government’s duty.
UDD co-leaders also discussed the strategy of the Red Shirt movement. In order to ensure democratic development in Thailand, the UDD continues to urge the government to accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
We demand that Minister of Foreign Affairs Surapong sign over jurisdiction over the massacres in April-May 2010 to the ICC. This is the way to prevent future coups.
The ICC is the most important weapon with which to fight the coup-makers. Surapong needs to be brave and sign the 12(3) declaration now, how else will he dare face the Red Shirts?
The speakers also called on the government to grant amnesty to all political prisoners, regardless of their political affiliation, with the exception of leaders.
Red Shirts that are in Laksi and other prisons across Thailand should receive amnesty. But not the leaders, we accept responsibility.
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