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Voices against Suthep-led movement getting louder in social media

Though support for the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) and its secretary-general, Suthep Thaugsuban, is still strong, more and more people are also voicing their opposition to the movement on social media.

Several Facebook pages in support of Yingluck Shinawatra’s government have been set up and many users are also posting comments in support of democracy and the electoral system, saying that PDRC’s moves are undemocratic.
Another trend is the sharing of images, which encourage the acceptance of political differences among friends and family members.
A page called the “Assembly for the Defence of Democracy” (AFDD), which was set up by a group of academics two days ago, gathered more than 130,000 likes in a single day. The content in this page mainly attacks Suthep’s proposal for a People’s Council and his decision to seek a nominated government through his interpretation of the Constitution’s Article 7, saying these moves were undemocratic and unconstitutional. The page is also collecting signatures in support of the AFDD movement.
Other pages supporting the government, such as “15 Million Love Yingluck” and “Opposing Rebel Suthep from Taking over Thailand”, were created earlier this month and have won 45,000 to 12,000 likes respectively.
Personal problems caused by the political polarisation are also becoming apparent on social media – a mood that is reflected in images encouraging reconciliation and understanding that are widely shared on Facebook. One example is the widely shared entreaty: “You are my friend, not because we are red or yellow or other external factors. We may have different views and exchange our opinions, but don’t let that destroy our friendship.”
Just as social-media users shared the anti-amnesty-bill sticker last month, this week many have been posting pro-election stickers saying “Your Vote Counts”, while PDRC supporters are posting stickers saying: “We don’t want a new election with the old process, understand?”

Published : December 12, 2013

By : Chanon Wongsatayanont The Nat