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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  12 March 2014  

UDD to hold mass rally Saturday

 BANGKOK, March 11 – The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), Thailand's red shirt movement, has announced its plan to hold a major rally in central Ayutthaya province Saturday to show support for the elected government.

UDD leader Thida Thavornseth briefed the press today about the rally, emphasising that the movement will continue to fight for democracy and show that they oppose a military coup. Mrs Thida said that supporters are people striving to protect democracy, but lately there have been attempts to counter the UDD’s political legitimacy.

In response to an earlier  PDRC statement, Mrs Thida called on the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) to present a clearer reform process for the country.

She said that the UDD rejected PDRC's demand for a neutral prime minister and said that the PDRC should also clarify how the country would be after reforms.

UDD spokesperson Thanawut Wichaidith meanwhile dismissed the PDRC allegation of people being recruited for armed struggle, claiming that all UDD supporters would witness peacefully for democracy.

Mr Thanawat urged UDD supporters from across the country to meet in Ayutthaya province this Saturday.  

Some supporters will also travel by boat from other provinces to join the Ayutthaya rally, he said.

The spokesperson said the rally is planned in Ayutthaya to avoid clashes with PDRC protesters in the capital. The movement on Saturday only aims to warn the PDRC not to destroy democracy. He claimed that the PDRC reform plans would only serve the elites.

Mr Thanawut then called on PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban to stop using a statement: “Overthrowing the Thaksin Regime” as it implies that the PDRC are also against UDD supporters who back Mr Thaksin.

UDD leader Worachai Hema, meanwhile, stressed that using weapons cannot bring victory to the people, while another leader, Korkaew Pikulthong, said the PDRC statement on Monday was a disappointment as it mentioned nothing clearly about the reform.

Mr Korkaew asked the PDRC to begin reforming itself first as it is what society wants to see most.

Another UDD leader, Weng Tojirakan echoed the sentiment, saying that UDD always supports the country's reforms, but not reforms led by Mr Suthep.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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