Red Shirts Rally in Samut Prakan
The PAD supporters packed up their bags and put away their yellow shirts just in time for the King’s birthday recently. This enabled the rest of us to reclaim the “yellow shirt” for H.M. The King. Now there isn’t so much stress about what colours you wear. It would seem that Thai people have short memories. It wasn’t that long ago that my neighbours were cautioning me not to wear yellow at night. The main reason is that Samut Prakan is a stronghold for supporters of Thaksin and the old Thai Rak Thai party. The so-called red shirts have been rallying recently in Bangkok at Sanam Luang and the National Stadium. Since NBT axed their Truth Today programme, it would seem that they are now becoming more active at rallies around the country. This evening, thousands of people from Samut Prakan attended the big red shirt rally at the city hall. Also present were some of the candidates that are up for the by-elections in January.
If the last government had been dissolved, all of these people would have voted for the newly formed Puea Thai party (previously known as the People Power Party and before that Thai Rak Thai). That is what Abhisit is frightened about. He fears that Puea Thai could win a national election. Speaking at the rally tonight were some big names in politics. The main speaker was the controversial politician, Chalerm Yubamrung. He was the Health Minister in the last government. He is tipped to become the leader of the opposition and many say possibly the next prime minister of Thailand. Hopefully not. He doesn’t really have a very good track record though he was very popular at the rally.
Natthawut Saikua is a well-known figure in Thai politics as he was a government spokesman. He is also an Anti-coup activist and regular commentator on the NBT Truth Today programme.
Jatuporn Phromphan was also a regular on the now defunct Truth Today programme. He is now a lawmaker for Pheu Thai.
Jakrapob Penkair is well-known to foreigners as he speaks excellent English and used to be a government spokesman. He was forced out of office when he was accused of Lese Majeste for comments made at the FCCT last year.
The climate of protests are certainly not over in Thailand. If these people have their way, they will mirror all the actions of the PAD starting with a blockade of Parliament. Maybe even take hold of Government House. We will need to monitor this carefully. It does have the potential to become nasty.