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Uncertain Times Ahead- UDD Leaders

At the UDD’s weekly press conference on Wednesday, UDD leaders called on Red Shirts to be prepared for a precarious month of April. The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) is set to announce its decision on an investigation of prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s financial assets which could result in the Pheu Thai leader’s disqualification as a member of parliament.

UDD spokesperson Tanawut Wichaidit said,

The NACC has started to make its move against the government. We need to stay alert because the political situation can change quickly.

UDD co-leader Dr Weng Tojirakarn reiterated that Red Shirts need to be ready to defend a democratically elected government against so-called “independent agencies” that were created by the 2006 coup-makers,

The anti-democratic forces in this country will try to bring down the government in April. We need a strong show of strength so that the amaat knows we are watching them.

Red Shirts will gather in numbers on April 10th for the third anniversary of the start of the brutal military crackdown that shook Bangkok in 2010. While the gathering, set to be held at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument, will express solidarity with the Pheu Thai administration, the UDD will also continue to pressure the government to fight on behalf of Thailand’s political prisoners, push forward with constitutional reform, and allow the International Criminal Court to open a preliminary investigation on the events of spring 2010.

UDD chairwoman Tida Tawornseth said,

While the NACC is threatening to take down this government, we need to stay focused on our friends in prison. There are 34 Red Shirt prisoners in Laksi and Bangkok Remand prison, 26 have bail,  giving us a total of 60. I understand why the government is hesitating on amnesty. But if you can’t bail them out, transfer them to Laksi prison at the very least. It’s been nearly three years. They have already suffered too much. Enough is enough.

The UDD leadership also reacted to the recent controversy surrounding the Thai PBS channel’s decision to cancel an episode of the television program Tob Jote (Tackling Problems) that discussed the role of the Monarchy in a debate format. The program triggered strong indignation from ultra-royalists, including a group of appointed senators as well as the Commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Army Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha who said matter of factly that people who did not approve on Thailand’s lèse majesté law should consider emigrating.

Tida stated that the UDD considers the freedom of the press and the individual’s freedom of expression as essential to any healthy democracy, but she was disturbed by Gen Prayuth’s comments,

He is the acting commander of the Thai military and should not be voicing political opinions. We’ve read this story before.

She concluded,

The main point we want to get across to people is that these are uncertain times and we need to be on guard.

2 comments. Leave a Reply

  1. JohnQPublic

    In the absence of systemic constitutional reform, It was only a matter of time before the elements which sponsored the military coup in 2006 and the two judicial coups which followed, struck again.

    Indeed, faced with this certain reality, one could say that the PT government has foolishly invited its own destruction by abandoning its promises to reform the coup constitution, choosing to pursue the personal agenda of its rich benefactor.

    You can bet that, even if there are no substantial legal reasons to disqualify our ever-smiling premier, the rigged constitutional system left behind by the coup will find ways to “Samak” give PM Yinglush if political instability is its immediate goal.

    In some measure, the UDD leadership must share the blame for allowing the PT government to ignore its promises of reform with
    little more than tacit consent.

  2. Concerned Farang

    “….the brutal military crackdown that shook Bangkok in 2010”

    Language and terminology give meaining and perspective on what is said or written. In the above quote, one uses the language of the PAD-dem’s. The term ‘crackdown’ implies legitimate use of force by the State to eradicate anarchic elements.

    That is not what happened in 2010.

    In 2010, there was a large scale demonstration against a coup-rooted Govt. A coup which imposed governance by an electoral minority. The demonstrators demanded elections to rectify this matter.

    R’song was an “attack” by coupist forces on those citizens. It was not a ‘crackdown’.

    That is PAD-Dem speak.

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