Pro-govt UDD to counter ‘Bangkok shutdown’


BANGKOK, Jan 9 –  Red Shirt activists will hold rallies at various locations this weekend in a prelude to their stand against anti-government protesters’ move to occupy the capital on Monday.

Thida Thavornseth, leader of the pro-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), the Red Shirt group, today lashed out at protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban for alleged slander, charging the UDD with hiring people at Bt3,000 each to hold counter rallies.

She said Mr Suthep has repeatedly slammed the UDD as a violent group involved in the country’s riots.

Vorachai Hema, former Pheu Thai MP, said he would lead people in suburban Samut Prakan province to rally at the provincial hall on Sunday before moving to a yet-to-be-announced destination.

Yoswaris Chuklom, known by his stage name as a comedian, Jeng Dokchik, and Anuwat Thinrat said they will head another pro-government group to rally at the ThaiCom satellite station in Nonthaburi on Sunday before marching to the provincial hall and central market.

Another Red Shirt group, to be led by Prachuab Ramsoi, will gather at Pathum Thani province on the outskirts of Bangkok on the same day.

Mr Vorachai said UDD members will hold countrywide movement on Monday and set up four major stages in Chiang Mai, Ubon Ratchthani, Khon Kaen and Ayutthaya, but no activity will be carried out in Bangkok.

He said the anti-government movement of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), of which Mr Suthep is secretary general, has impacted the people’s daily life.

He warned the military against intervention, or it would be tantamount to staging a coup.

Mr Vorachai called on students, businessmen and people who disagreed with the PDRC’s Bangkok shutdown on Monday to gather and rally at eight major spots in the capital including Victory Monument, Asoke, Silom-Saladaeng, Ratchprasong, Pathumwan, The Mall Bangkapi, The Mall Tha Phra, and Imperial Lat Prao tomorrow from 4 pm to 6 pm.

“Let me emphasise that we will rally tomorrow. We will not demonstrate in the PDRC’s demonstration sites on Monday,” he said.