Red shirt Constitution Day rally

10 12 2009

As 2Bangkok.com notes, the English-language press in Thailand has gone very quiet on reporting red shirt rallies. That site has a few captures of news reports worth looking at (as usual, scroll down a little to see them).

The Bangkok Post has one crowd photo at its web page and a story of: “About 5,000 red-shirt supporters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship gathered around the Democracy Monument on Thursday.” The Nation has has one crowd photo on its frontpage and welcomes back Pravit Rojanaphruk with his comment: “Dressed and speaking as if he were still running the country, convicted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday led more than 20,000 red-shirt demonstrators via video link in lighting candles in honour of His Majesty the King’s 82nd birthday.” Matichon also has pictures of large crowds.

Looking at the 2Bangkok.com photo, particularly at the Royal Plaza, and at Matichon, the 20,000 figure seems most reliable. More photos here.

The Thai News Agency reports “thousands” of red shirts, with this odd characterization: “The so-called Red Shirt mass rally…”. So-called? It is a rally or it isn’t, or is it a question as to whether red shirts are red shirts? It also reports that the red shirt leadership was worried about imposters: “The UDD leader said he was informed that four busloads of bogus Red Shirt supports recruited in the northeastern province of Buri Ram are heading toward the capital to join the demonstration.”

New Tang Dynasty Television has a video report, with red shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan stating: “We don’t need aristocrats and government. But today’s agenda is not to expel them but we will criticize them. Today is Constitution Day so we will talk about the 1997 charter that was replaced by the 2007 constitution. The 2007 constitution is still a problem for our country.”


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