Roundup: Anti-govt protest in “last round of the fight” on MondaySubmitted by prachatai on Fri, 06/12/2013 - 22:31
After a one-day truce for the King’s birthday on December 5, when the anti-government movement and government agreed to refrain from any confrontation during the national holiday, protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban on Friday announced that the “this demonstration must end on Monday, December 9.”
“There is no need to prolong our fight to 2014 and 2015. We need to return to our normal lives. The government knows this. That’s why it has used tactics and negotiations with us. It aimed to buy time so that we’ll be exhausted and get bored,” Suthep said after leading the street protest for more than 30 days. “I know what’s behind your thoughts.”
“We’ll finish this at any cost. We’ll see if we’ll win or lose on Monday, December 9,” said the protest leader. “This is the last round of the fight.”
Suthep urged anti-government supporters to march on the streets of Bangkok to Government House or to join the marches from three main rally venues at the Government Complex, the Finance Ministry or Ratchadamnoen avenue on Monbday December 9, 9.39am. All the marches will end at Government House. All three venues have been occupied by protesters.
“We’ll not return here. We’ll see if we win or lose in front of Government House. We will not enter the compound because we respect the military, but we’ll test the military's willingness,” Suthep announced.
The demonstrators, led by former number two in the pro-establishment Democrat Party Suthep, aim to overthrow the elected government, led by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra; it is also an open secret that Thaksin is the de facto leader of the government.
The demonstrators’ ultimate goal is to completely eradicate the so-called “Thaksin regime”, roughly meaning a political system and country manipulated and administered by Thaksin and for Thaksin. They are not demanding an election or the PM’s resignation because they realize that Thaksin’s party will return. They are demanding instead an appointed prime minister and appointed parliamentarians.
Red shirt mass rally in Ayutthaya
The red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) affiliated to the ruling Pheu Thai Party will hold a mass rally on Constitution Day, Tuesday December 10, to show their support for the elected government and the current parliamentary system. Weng Tojirakarn, a core UDD member, said he expected several thousand red-shirt supporters to join the rally.
Weng said the UDD had decided to hold the rally outside Bangkok to avoid confrontation with the anti-government protesters.
The exact venue has not been revealed.
Last weekend, at least four people were killed during clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters near Ramkhamhaeng University in Bangkok's Hua Mark district where the red-shirts were holding a mass gathering.
Pheu Thai, Democrats will not contest by-elections
The Democrat and Pheu Thai parties announced that they will not field any candidates in the by-elections to replace the eight Democrat constituency MPs who resigned to lead the anti-government protests.
Friday was the last day for registering candidates. Only small parties fielded candidates in the by-elections for seats in Bangkok and the southern provinces of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Songkhla, Chumphon, Trang and Surat Thani.
Democrat Spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut said on Friday that it is not appropriate to contest the by-elections under the circumstances because it is not the answer to the country’s problem.
Meanwhile, Pheu Thai leader and Interior Minister Jarupong Ruangsuwan said that core Pheu Thai members decided to boycott the by-elections and blamed the Democrats for vacating the seats in the first place. “We won’t join in the game of MPs resigning to lead the street protests to oust an elected government. We are boycotting this by-election,” Jarupong said. “The Democrats can do whatever they want, we don’t care.”
Body found on burnt-out bus on Ramkhamhaeng Road identified, neither red nor anti-government
According to the Thai News Agency, police have successfully identified the body found on a bus which was set alight early on Sunday morning near Ramkhamhaeng University.
DNA tests identified the body as that of Suradech Khampangjai, 19.
Witnesses said Suradech lived in the Ekamai area and was riding pillion on a motorcycle to buy cough syrup. He then joined the clash with no political agenda. Suradech got on the bus and started trashing the bus interior. When fire was lit at the front, Suradech failed to escape as the back door of the bus was locked.
Witnesses added that he was not a red-shirt or anti-government supporter, and not a Ramkhamhaeng student.
Moreover, investigation into cartridges found at the scene indicated that no high precision rifles were used in the incidents despite earlier rumours of snipers, police said.