By PRAVIT ROJANAPHRUK
Published on January 28, 2011
The nationalist People's Alliance for Democracy yesterday ratcheted up its rhetoric against Cambodia and the Abhisit Vejjajiva administration even though it told its supporters that it has no intention of leading Thailand to war with Cambodia.
A man got on stage and insisted to the moderate turnout of some 3,000 in the early evening that "the PAD is not inciting [the government] to declare war with its neighbour".
Nevertheless, a poster attached to the gate on Makkhawan Bridge showed a picture of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen being likened to a "criminal" as well as a monitor lizard, a symbol that Thais regard as an insult.
T-shirts carrying patriotic messages like "Retake Preah Vihear Temple" in Thai, referring to the contested Khmer site that is claimed by Cambodia, can be picked up from vendors at the protest venue.
Yellow bandannas with the message "protect our land" accompanied by a picture of Preah Vihear Temple are also available.
And for those who can't read Thai, there's a yellow plastic placard that reads in English, "Stop MoU 43! Cambodians Get Out", alluding to the controversial MoU dealing with the disputed border signed by both governments in 2000.
Shortly before 6pm and not long after the male speaker onstage promised that the PAD is not calling for war, his female colleague read a PAD leadership statement of the day, urging the Thai government to repeal the MoU unilaterally and "use military might to pressure [Cambodia] into
drafting a new MoU".
"Yeah! That's the way to go!" shouted one yellow-shirt supporter in the front row as many others waved their hand-clappers and cheered in approval.
"That's the way!" he shouted again.