Sat, Jan 29, 2011
The Nation/Asia News Network
Members of the yellow-shirt People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) interviewed yesterday said they were willing to fight temporarily alongside the red shirts if that is what it takes to topple the Abhisit Vejjajiva administration and reclaim "lost territory" from Cambodia.
"I guess that can be done, because it's our country. We don't even use our [political] colour at this rally," said Boonthai Sirichoke, a PAD member from Samut Prakarn, adding that this government would definitely be removed if the red and yellow shirts joined forces. However, he said he believed the yellow shirts alone could topple the government.
Waen, a 47-year-old yellow-shirt from Chiang Mai, said she would not speculate but would follow instructions from PAD leaders, even if it meant joining forces with the red shirts. "We are just the mass, we don't have the right to question it."
Yupin Prasertsri, an elderly woman from Amnat Charoen province who came with her daughter to take part in the rally yesterday, said they were ready to join forces with the red shirts "because we want to topple the government".
"I can accept it because we have the same goal of getting rid of corruption and defending national integrity," she said. The PAD believes that the government is too soft on the border issue because of vested interests of politicians and generals who reap benefits from illegal cross-border trade.
Her daughter, who asked not to be named, said: "I can accept it because now it's about national interest and not colours."
The rally yesterday drew a moderate crowd of about 5,000 in the evening, with more arriving after dark. Half a dozen villagers who claimed they owned land along the Thai-Cambodian border that was allegedly taken over by Cambodians over the past three decades were invited to speak onstage.
A female villager burst into tears, telling PAD supporters that even though she had a title deed for the land occupied by Cambodians for 30 years, not a single government had helped get her land back.
"My father was so upset that he developed a mental problem," she said, adding that the family ended up having to work as hired help in Bangkok and elsewhere, and suffered immensely because they could not work on "their own land".