By Kanittha Thepphajorn
Yellow shirts to avoid rallies unless govt makes moves to facilitate Thaksin's return
The People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) will set up a committee to campaign for national reform instead of holding mass rallies to counter the Pheu Thai-led government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, according to PAD spokesman Panthep Pourpongpan.
Panthep said the group would launch protests if the government changes Article 112 of the Penal Code, amends the charter or any laws to waive penalties on Thaksin Shinawatra and his group, and when the time is right.
PAD leaders Pibhop Dhongchai, Chamlong Srimuang and Somkiat Pongpaiboon also joined the press conference yesterday afternoon.
Panthep was speaking after PAD’s mass rally at Lumpini Sathorn, a ballroom dance hall in Lumpini Park. A forum was also held under the theme, “Stop Dictatorship, Join Forces to Reform Thailand”.
It was the first mass rally of the anti-Thaksin PAD, known as the yellow shirts, since Thaksin’s sister Yingluck became the prime minister. More than 3,000 people joined the rally, which lasted from 10am until late evening.
In the evening, Chamlong took the stage to say that neither he nor another PAD leader, Sondhi Limthongkul, would be changed.
Sondhi said , “We have to win this fight. This is not to change the government. The country will survive only if bad politicians are gone,” he said.
He said the people who fight for the country and the monarchy would be safe. And the truth will be revealed by the end of this year as to who was behind the attempt to stop him.
Panthep said a survey conducted among the event participants showed that 29 per cent did not want the PAD to hold a rally yet, believing the group should wait until the military, the courts and power groups all agree to join with the civil sector to reform Thailand. About 22 per cent said they should not hold a rally before the majority of people are “enlightened”. However, 21 per cent said a mass rally should be held immediately.
Regarding the solution for the country’s crisis, Panthep said more than 70 per cent said there must be a national reform to eradicate “parliamentary dictatorship” supported by vicious capitalist financiers. More than 12 per cent wanted the charter amendment to be halted and more than 7 per cent said any attempt to change Article 112 must be stopped.
Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University law lecturer Komsan Pokong said the country is in crisis as the government is trying to violate the law by giving Bt7.75 million compensation to people who joined political rallies without considering if they violated any laws. He said the government tried to change Article 291 of the Constitution without giving reasons. He said the government was behaving like a “parliamentary dictatorship”.
“What is happening is because political parties have the character of monopolistic capitalism and they destroy rules that they see as obstacles in their way to absolute power. If they can amend the charter, they will be able to change the commoners to slaves as well,” he said.
Former National Legislative Assembly (NLA) member Narong Chokewattana said the country was currently like a decayed building that could not be fixed. The only way to improve is to reform the people.
At around 2.30pm, a man struck with a metal rod the front window of a Voice TV car parked near the rally site. The driver, who was in the car, pursued the man and rammed the car into the attacker’s motorcycle. The alleged attacker, Kavikrai Chokepattanakasemsuk, 32, was arrested and taken to Lumpini Police Station.
Thaksin’s son Panthongtae is an executive at Voice TV.
Kavikrai confessed that he was dissatisfied with the Thaksin regime. Although he did not regret his action, he did not want anyone to imitate him.