Anti-red-shirt groups call for stringent measures against protesters

Anti-red-shirt groups, mostly affiliated with the PAD, have urged the government and military to suppress the protesters. 

At 8 pm on 9 April, a group of about 100 people called “Volunteer Citizen’s Network to Protect the Land” gathered near Phya Thai BTS station to protest against the red shirts. They claimed to represent communities from Din Daeng, Ban Khrua, Samre, Mahanak, Khlong Toei and Nang Loeng areas who have got together since the ‘gas truck’ incident in April last year. 

The group condemned the red shirts as “rebels” aiming to overthrow Democracy with the King as Head of State. They claimed that the protesters wanted to initiate a class war, offended the monarchy and used violence, openly and underground. 

'(Not) silent force cannot tolerate anymore'

Among the leaders of the group were Suriyan Tongnoo-ied, Acting Secretary General of the Campaign for Popular Democracy and former PAD Coordinator for the North, and Nitithorn Lumlua, Sondhi Limthongkul’s lawyer, who mobilized communities in the New Petchaburi Road area against the red shirts in April last year. Suriyan claimed that the group consisted of people affected by the protests. They therefore wanted the government to take decisive measures against the red shirts. ‘We can no longer allow the government to use mild measures with these people,’ Suriyan insisted. 

Suriyan Tongnoo-ied (left), Acting Secretary General of the Campaign for Popular Democracy and PAD Coordinator for the North

When pick-up trucks and motorcycles of the red shirts came passing by, the group booed them and shouted ‘No House dissolution’ and ‘Abhisit, fight on’. ‘If the government still does nothing tomorrow, we will be back,’ they claimed. 

New Politics Party shirt

According to ASTV-Manager, Suriyasai Katasila, PAD coordinator and Secretary-General of the New Politics Party, said in an interview on the News Hour programme on 9 April that the protest of the “Volunteer Citizen’s Network to Protect the Land” was not officially a PAD activity but was initiated by the people themselves. Such action shows that the government failed to enforce the law against the red shirts. He criticized Abhisit and Army Chief Gen Anupong Paojinda for failing to enforce the Emergency Decree effectively and said that it was necessary to declare Martial Law to suppress the red shirts.  Lt Gen Khanit Saphitak, the 1st Army Commander, should understand the situation and know what to do, Suriyasai said. 

On 10 April, in Trang, a group of about 200 people under the name Unite the Force of the Land, also led by PAD leaders, demanded that Abhisit not dissolve Parliament. The group claimed to have collected more than 20,000 names against the House dissolution and have launched to collect more names. While demanding that the government not cause harm or death to the people, but be strict with those committing illegal acts, the group called for the people to mobilize to help security forces protect government premises.



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