Red Shirts, Yellow Shirts clash on Darunee case

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BANGKOK, Sept 24 – Activists from Thailand’s pro- and anti-government movements clashed today as some Yellow Shirts gathered at the headquarters of Police Crime Suppression Division to give moral support to a teacher accused of defaming prominent Red Shirt supporter Darunee Kritboonyalai.

Pro-government Red Shirts and rival Yellow Shirts supporters clashed at the Crime Suppression Division on Phahon Yothin Road in Bangkok today.

Supporters of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD, Yellow Shirts) gathered there to show their moral support for Manasnant Nookam, a former teacher at an international school in Pathum Thani province after key Red Shirt (UDD, United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship) activist Darunee Kritboonyalai filed a defamation lawsuit against her.

Ms Darunee accused Ms Manasnant of reviling her loudly at an upscale Bangkok department store, blaming her for alleged slurs against royalty, an action which Ms Daranee said damaged her reputation.

Police summoned Ms Manasnant for questioning but she did not appear today but postponed her meeting with investigators to September 29.

As the PAD protesters left the police compound, they confronted a group of Red Shirts who followed the case outside the venue. Both sides pelted their rivals with salvos of rhetoric in a war of words, before the Yellow Shirts attacked a Red Shirt loudspeaker truck. One woman was injured in the skirmishes by both groups.

The protesters later dispersed after police commandos of the Crime Suppression Division intervened to control the situation.