Friday, 29 January 2010

UDD plans three rallies next week

Published: 29/01/2010
via CAAI News Media

Following their rally outside army headquarters today, seeking an explanation of coup rumours, the red-shirts will next week demonstrate outside the air force HQ, Ministry of Defence and the Election Commission, core leader of the United front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) Jatuporn Promphan said on Friday afternoon.

“Today, the red-shirts wanted to ask deputy army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha whether there will be another military coup as it is being said that Gen Prayuth has been chosen to lead the coup,” Mr Jatuporn said.

On Tuesday, the red-shirts will go to air force headquarters and again seek and explanation of the rumours.

The UDD will then rally at the Defence Ministry on Wednesday, and ask how Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva managed to avoid conscription, he said.

After that the UDD will rally at the office of the Election Commission and demand a progress report on legal action against the Democrat Party, which was accused of unlawfully receiving a 258 million baht donation from TPI Polene.

UDD leaders have accused the EC of deliberately delaying the ruling in the Democrat case.

Mr Jatuporn said UDD core leaders have not yet settled on the exact date of the planned mass anti-government demonstration by the red-shirts.

The red-shirts began gathering in front of army headquarters on Rajadamnern Nok road about 10am on Friday, using a six-wheeler truck equipped with loudspeakers as a platform to call on soldiers who support democracy to come out to join their fight against a military coup.

One company of troops, including military police, was deployed at the headquarters to prevent the demonstrators entering. About 100 metropolitan and riot police were stationed outside to control the situation. Police had set up an operations centre at the nearby Rajadamnern boxing stadium.

The rally, which was set to end at 5pm, was peaceful.

Army chief Gen Anupong Paojinda and his deputy Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha were in the far South on Friday morning and were due to return to Bangkok late this afternoon.

Army spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said at lunchtime the army was keeping a close watch on developments. Normal security measures would be implemented to deal with any unruly protesters.

Col Sansern believed the rally would continue to be peaceful.

Kwanchai Praipana, leader of the Khon Rak Udon (Love Udon People) group in Udon Thani, said the red-shirts in the province were ready to fight against a military coup.

About 300 members of the group were surrounding the red-shirt community radio station in Udon every day to protect it against seizure by state authorities, he said.

“If a coup occurs then red-shirts, each with a bottle of petrol, will immediately lay siege to provincial offices nationwide,” Mr Kwanchai said. He claimed that a group of “black warriors” were trained for the mission.

He also claimed that fugitive politician Thaksin Shinawatra plans to visit Cambodia late next month and said he that the former prime minister had told the red-shirts to be patient as he did not want any violence.


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