Where are red shirts?

29 12 2013

A number of readers have commented that the red shirt movement has been very quiet since the end of November and especially question why this is so when the anti-democratic movement has apparently been so provocative in challenging what might be considered red shirt interests.

The most concerted official red shirt action has been seen in recent days when, according to a report at the Bangkok Post, red shirt leaders responded to Amry boss General Prayuth Chan-ocha’s refusal to rule out a coup.

The Puea Thai Party deputy spokesman stated that he “supports the army as it adheres to democracy, a principle to which the military has always been committed. The army is a key organisation which could bring peace to the country…”. That sounds like a bit of military posterior polishing and may be wishful thinking.

At the same time, the spokesman “claimed there is an attempt under way to usher in a coup by independent bodies which are allied to the network that toppled the Thaksin Shinawatra government in 2006.”

The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship was a little more outspoken, and “has vowed to mobilise its own demonstrators if a coup takes place.” Deputy Commerce Minister and red-shirt leader Nattawut Saikua stated: “Thai people have shut the door on coups and will not allow another one to happen…”.

This was the interesting claim for PPT: “Once a putsch happens, there will be a movement from people nationwide to show their opposition to the coup.” We may be reading too much into this, but it sounds like a “deal” is about to be broken.

Meanwhile, UDD core leader Jatuporn Prompan stated: “If a coup takes place, we have to fight and that is the only thing to do…”.

In a related report at the Post, Nattawut is made to sound a bit more emphatic: “We will never let it happen, not in any form…. For the Thai people, once there is a coup, they will immediately rise against it.” He added: “Although a coup has not yet happened, the fight against it has begun. We hope the situation will resolve in a democratic way.”

Nattawut also said he thought “Gen Prayuth should whisper into Mr Suthep [Thaugsuban]’s ear that it was time to go home.”

Jatuporn apparently agreed, stating a little more revealingly: “Gen Prayuth should not come out to die for Mr Suthep. Everything is up to Gen Prayuth to decide…”.


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