Pattaya Daily News

03 April 2010 :: 12:04:19 pm 17396

Pink Shirts Bring Hope As Reds Stage Largest-Ever Demo

Red Shirt leader Veera Musigapong throws caution to the wind as he declares the Red-Shirt movement might have to use violent means to establish a new Thai state. This, as a new faction joins the fray, the Pink Shirts, ostensibly a force for peace, but they did manage to drag a Red Shirt motorcyclist from his motorcycle, signifying the confrontationalists are at large and on the increase.
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Bangkok, April 3, 2010, [Pattaya Daily News]: The previously essentially peaceful protests, apart from the dozen or so bombings, are threatening to turn violent with a vengeance, as today’s ‘largest ever’ protest begins, with 5,000 motorcyclists having been  hired at a daily cost of Bt5m to essentially cause turmoil, according to insider reports by the TNA.

Threats are being bandied around with gay abandon, Veera Musigapong announcing that the Reds might have to use violent means to achieve their goals, and yet another Red leader, Arisman Pongruangrong, has threatened to mobilize 500 motorcyclists to stop Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva from returning home and returning to work inside the Government House, plus MP Jatuporn’s threat to stage a counter rally to the Pink Shirts at Lumpini Park. In addition, Veera Musigapong, threatened to set fire to the office National Anti-Corruption Commission, who, he asserts are guilty of double-standard law enforcement.

The new force for peace, the Pink Shirts, largely monarchists and loyalist by temperament, are striking back, albeit largely only passively and vocally. Yesterday, over 4,000 protestors congregated at the King Rama VI Monument in front of Lumpini Park swearing their allegiance to the monarchy, Buddhism, and to protect the nation, as well as vociferously denouncing the Reds.

The Pink-Shirt leaders, in distinct contrast to the Reds, are largely drawn from the ranks of the petite bourgeoisie: businessmen, and hoteliers, with such prominent notables as Pol Gen Vasit Dejkunjornand  and Charas Suwannamala, Dean of Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Political Science. They apparently vociferously oppose everything the Reds are crying out for, namely, House dissolution, the exaltation of Thaksin Shinawatra, the holding of an immediate election and the use of violence, any perpetrators of which they advise the government to take stern measures against. They even resent the Red’s hogging of the limelight, saying any negotiations should have a broader political base and take into account the government’s need to implement budgetary policy and the various infrastructural, financial, commercial and social reforms that they have on their agenda.

The allied beleaguered tourism element, wearing white shirts, is apparently livid about the adverse effects the Reds are having on the tourism industry with huge losses to the economy and tourists staying away in droves, according to several reports, as well as more countries issuing travel advisory notices against coming to Thailand.  Aneksri Chivachart, Vice-President of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, maintains tourism has fallen by 20-30% since the beginning or this round of Red-Shirt demos.

Prakit Chinamourphong, President of the Thai Hotels Association, asserted that the tourism industry has lost Bt10 billion since March 12. “I can’t stop the protests by the red shirt group but I’m worried about the daily bombings. It really has a psychological effect on people, especially tourists. Who will come to Thailand?” he asked the Bangkok Post. The Federation of Thai Tourism Associations spokesman Charoen Wangananon also confirmed this figure of Bt10 billion losses over the past 20 days, according to the TNA.

Meanwhile, the Red-Shirt friendly Puea Thai Party may loose one of its MPs as senators Piboon Nititawan and Prasarn Maruekapitak, backed by a citizens’ group want to impeach Puea Thai MP Jatuporn Prompan, citing his rebel rousing threat to stage a counter-protest to the Pink Shirts at Lumpini Park, considered an infringement of people’s right to stage a peaceful demonstration, the TNA reported.

Reporter: Taliesin Verity (Chief-Reporter)

Photographer: Internet

Category : Politics News

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