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Democracy Update 17/4/13 » Red Shirts

Democracy Update 17/4/13

IMG_2550At the UDD’s weekly press conference on Wednesday, the leadership discussed plans for the Thai new year, as well as the ongoing commemorative events that will be taking place within the next month to mark the third anniversary of the brutal military crackdown on Red Shirt protests that killed over 90 people.

Thailand has started to wake up after the celebrations of Thai New Year, Songkran. In traditional Songkran spirit, the UDD leaders announced 3 “wishes” that they will work towards during the new year: amnesty, constitutional reform, and justice.

Red Shirts continue to pressure the government to grant amnesty to political prisoners of all colours.

According to Dr Weng,

It is a good sign that the Amnesty Bill has been designated a priority issue by the parliament. Our goal is within reach.

UDD spokesperson Worawut also applauded Pheu Thai MPs that have come out in support of amnesty. He said,

It is important that Red Shirts support these MPs and show them that this is what we expect.

Tida, however, expressed cautious optimism about the prospects of the government being able to grant amnesty to political prisoners and amend the constitution.

Even when we make progress, I know that this will be a long struggle. The Democrat Party will try their hardest to stop our reforms.

As for the process of bringing those responsible for the murders of Red Shirt protestors in April-May 2010 to justice, the UDD leadership remains unyielding in its demands.

Tida reminisced,

Three years ago today we were still at Rajaprasong, we remember what happened. We will not let all those people die for nothing, we will bring the perpetrators to justice.

The rally that was held on Wednesday April 10th in honor of those who died was heralded a success by the leaders, who thanked all the Red Shirts who came out and joined the commemoration. The leadership also announced plans for another rally to be held on May 19th. The event will mark the third anniversary of the brutal end of the pro-democracy protests three years ago, when Abhisit’s unelected government unleashed the full might of the military on Red Shirts that were calling for elections.

However, Worawut also recognised that these events mean little unless they lead to action.

The murders need to face the full weight of the legal system… We will keep holding these events until we have justice.

Tida also announced plans to set up a commemorative museum in Bangkok that includes photos and objects from the protests. The venue is currently being renovated, and Tida hopes that the museum will be open to the public in 3 months.

The UDD leadership was greeted by Red Shirts with a Songnamphra ceremony in celebration of Songkran

2 comments. Leave a Reply

  1. JohnQPublic

    I wish UDD well in the fight to reform Thai politics, but too many of your comments are starting to sound like Charlie Brown expressing renewed confidence that Lucy is finally going to let him kick that ball.
    Here’s wishing all of your members and supporters a successful Pee Mai.

  2. Concerned Farang

    “…the third anniversary of the brutal military crackdown on Red Shirt protests”

    Be careful not to let PAD-Dem terminology carry the day.

    Correcting the above quote, It was the brutal “coup-makers (not military) attacking (not cracking down) Red Shirt protests” .

    An analogy – if the military was the hammer, who was holding it and hitting the Red Shirts with it. The PAD-Dem’s often seek to characterize R’song as a military operation, when in fact it was a coupist operation. PAD-Dem Coupists like to hide behind the military.

    “UDD spokesperson Worawut also applauded Pheu Thai MPs that have come out in support of amnesty”

    What about PTP members who did not? Should’nt they be named and listed. If local MP’s do not support key Red Shirt objectives, it seems that it may be beneficial for Red Shirts in those districts to be clear about that, and be governed accordingly. MP’s should suffer some fall-out in their districts, when not supporting UDD/Red Shirt principles and objectives.

    Would it be beneficial for PTP members to be listed according to their pro-or-anti-Red Shirt voting patterns.

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