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Redshirt threats get political tension boiling

Feb 23. 2014
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By The Nation

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Redshirts warn of 'government-in-exile' in the north or Isaan, going into 'combat mode'

Political tension and violence is intensifying as rival camps – the government and protesters – vow to step up their campaigns to bring about a swift victory.

The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) co-leader Natthawut Saikua suggested yesterday that the caretaker government set up an administration “in exile” in the North or Northeast, adding that the red-shirt movement or UDD was all set to go to 100-per-cent combat mode.

Natthawut was speaking during a “UDD war drum” meeting attended by 4,000 UDD members at the Liptapanlop Building at Chalerm Phra Kiat Sports Stadium in Muang district in Nakhon Ratchasima.

The meeting came up with 11 proposals for the caretaker government. They include: no stepping down, arresting People’s Democratic Reform Committee chief Suthep Thaugsuban and PDRC co-leaders, and exercising civil disobedience against “unjust” rulings and decisions by independent agencies.

“The government must not be defeated. This is an order from the people,’’ Natthawut said.
Meanwhile, PDRC co-leaders declared to end the game by launching an “onslaught” against the caretaker government and Shinawatra business empire.
Phra Buddha Issara, leader of the PDRC’s Chaeng Wattana base, said he had arranged for 10 buses to transport protesters today to disrupt Shinawatra businesses, but did not reveal the targets.
PDRC spokesman Akanat Prompan said rapid-response teams would be sent to government offices to urge bureaucrats to stop working for the “Thaksin regime”. 
UDD chairwoman Thida Tavornseth said to protect democracy, the red shirts had to 
fight against coup attempts, PDRC chief Suthep, plus independent agencies and the courts, which she claimed were unjust.
Jatuporn Promphan, another UDD leader, warned that when the time was right, major roads in Bangkok would turn into a sea of red when the UDD travels there. 
“It will be our historically greatest struggle to preserve democracy,’’ he said, claiming the reds would ensure no clashes or loss of life.
The reds were also considering calling a public boycott of the rival camp’s business interests, he said. 
“No one allows himself to be harassed without striking back. If we do not stand up and fight, it means we give our motherland to Suthep,’’ he said. 
Suriyasai Katasila, coordinator of the Green Politics group, said the country’s political saga had entered its final chapter with violence expected to boil over. 
The Thaksin regime had been shaken to its core. The PM was cornered and felt her life was in danger because the military had distanced itself and the police had buckled to public scrutiny.
“The red shirts’ hard core is Thaksin’s last resort plus his crony police officers helping him to carry out underground operations focusing on instigating unlimited violence,’’ he said.

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