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Pattaya Daily News

07 November 2010 :: 14:11:10 pm 45516

Government Concerned At New UDD Udon Rally

The government is reportedly worried by the new Red gathering in UDon Thani, fearing it may provoke a Red resurgence in the Northeast.
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November 7, 2010, [Pattaya Daily News]: In their second rally since their October 18 protest in Ayutthaya and Bangkok, considerable numbers of Red-Shirt supporters of the UDD turned up in Udon Thani yesterday evening , Nov6, to express solidarity with Thaksin Shinawatra, who addressed the throng by phone at 8pm. The government is reportedly apprehensive about the resurgence of the pro-Thaksin movement, concerned that yesterday’s Udon gathering would act as a catalyst to their fellow supporters in other parts of Isaan.

Prominent Red activists at the rally included Puea Thai MP and key UDD leader Jatuporn Prompan, the deputy House speaker Apiwan Wiriyachai and a number of Puea Thai MPs.

In his phone-in Thaksin stated that if he returned to power, he would improve the lives of rural people by “plucking them from poverty in a short time”, urging the supporters to vote for Puea Thai in the next election. He was also scathing about the government’s less than efficient handling of the flooding disaster.

Speaking for the government, prime minister’s spokesman Thepthai Senpong urged the UDD ‘not to stir up trouble’, vowing the government would take better care of jailed Red-Shirt supporters. The government-directed revocation of the passports of nine fugitive Red-Shirt leaders Arisman Pongruangrong, Suporn Atthawong, Payap Panket, Wapot Apornrat, Adisorn Piengket, Aree Krainara, Chinawat Haboonpat, Kanyapak Maneejak and Samruen Prachamrue, just over a week ago, however, can hardly have endeared the government to the UDD.

Thaksin Shinawatra was also meeting Chart Thai Party Chief Adviser Sanan Kachornprasart in Norway yesterday to discuss their joint national reconciliation efforts, according to Thaksin’s lawyer Noppadon Pattama. Thaksin was ostensibly in Norway to deliver the world’s oldest Buddhist scriptures, the Tripitaka, to a Thai temple there, from where they will be later taken for an exhibition in Thailand.

Regarding national reconciliation, despite Thaksin and Sanan’s private efforts, it all depends upon the government, Noppadon stated.

“If persons in power don’t support the reconciliation, the talk would be fruitless,” he said. Sanan has recently been running a national campaign on his own initiative to reconcile the two opposing camps. However, Noppadon further stated “I do not have high hopes, but I do not mean to discourage him. Sanan is over 70 and I fully support his efforts.”

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