Anti-govt movement marches for campaign ‘reform before election’ rally


BANGKOK, March 24 – Thailand’s anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) today marched in the capital campaigning for public support for its ‘reform-before-election’ mass rally this Saturday.

PDRC secretary general Suthep Thaugsuban led the 5.8 kilometre warm-up march which started from the group’s rally site at Lumpini Park, walking through Rama IV and Silom Roads before returning to the park.

Mr Suthep was under 5 layers of tight security by PDRC guards as he walked through the commercial districts. Traffic in the areas was temporary blocked, closed to vehicles.

The PDRC leader said today’s march is aimed at encouraging the people to join the Saturday rally and that it was their first mobilisation after a month-long pause.

He gave assurances that those who want to join the march could do so safely as some 1,000 guards were deployed.

Mr Suthep reemphasised that the PDRC disagrees with having an election, but requires political reform before and voting takes place.

The protest leader refused to comment on the Election Commission’s attempt to hold talks with political parties on the election framework and regulations, saying that the PDRC is not a political party and that it only wants political reform.

Meanwhile, PDRC ally, the Network of Students and People for Reform of Thailand (NSPRT), protested at national police bureau headquarters, demanding police chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew to speed up investigation and arrests of those involved with violence during the anti-government demonstrations, leading to scores of deaths and injuries.

The protesters were led by their leader Nitithorn Lamlua and Uthai Yodmanee. They said until now there was no progress on the cases and that not even one responsible person has been arrested.