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Move to disband red shirts meets with opposition


A move by Jatuporn Prompan to disband the red-shirt United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) has met with opposition from fellow red-shirt leader Korkaew Pikulthong. Former Pheu Thai MP Korkaew said on Tuesday that the red shirt movement should be retained for the younger generation.

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He suggested Jatuporn, who chairs the UDD, should take a rest if he was tired but disagreed that the long history of the red shirts should come to an end.

The red shirts appear to have been side-lined by the rise of the pro-democracy Ratsadon movement led by students. However, red-shirt activists have joined students at many pro-democracy protests this year, Korkaew pointed out.

An online group called Progressive Red Shirts 63, led by Panupong Mukdara, surfaced when Ratsadon protesters rallied on October 14 this year.

Meanwhile Thanapol Thanadechphonlert’s red-shirt group has stood with student anti-coup protesters demanding a return to elections since 2017, also organising events pressuring Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to resign.

Red shirts led by Anurak Janetawanich also joined student protests in 2015, despite tight junta restrictions, while former red-shirt guard Sombat Thongyoi joined protests for elections together with Rangsiman Rome, Arnon Nampa and Sirawith "Ja New" Seritiwat in 2017.

Also, red-shirt activists in various provinces were still allied to the UDD’s fight for true democracy, said Korkaew.

He said this task should be handed to the next generation so they can carry the red shirt’s original campaign forward.

Published : December 29, 2020

By : The Nation