Red leader: Will rally, but seizing Bangkok would lead to civil war — Core red-shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan told a press conference on Thursday that his movement will hold a mass rally to “open” the country, to counter the anti-government protesters’ vow to “shut down” Bangkok on January 13, but that the red shirts would not attempt to seize Bangkok because it would lead to civil war, said Thai media reports.
Mr. Jatuporn said the time had come for the people, red-shirts among them, to stand up and fight against what he called the elite’s network, the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), which was planning to recruit southerners to overthrown the elected Yingluck Shinawatra government.
“We are ready but it depends when we will make a move. If we lose democracy, we don’t know what will happen. This month is the month of ‘make or break’. Please wait for a signal from us. We will fight under peaceful principles,” said Mr. Jatuporn.
He pledged, however, not to allow a repeat of the bloody confrontation with anti-government protesters that occurred in late November when the red-shirts held a rally at Rajamangala Stadium at Ramkhamhaeng University which left five people dead, reported the Bangkok Post.
Mr. Jatuporn said the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) would begin warm-up rallies this Sunday, the same day anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban has called for rallies to begin prior to the big day on January 13.
He said further details would be disclosed later.
Mr. Jatuporn also said that the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Constitutional Court are both moving in the same direction against the Yingluck government – a manoeuvring that is in accord with the PDRC’s declared Bangkok shutdown that, he claimed, would open the way for a coup, reported The Nation news agency.
Two previous governments aligned with the movement were ousted – one in a military coup in 2006 and one in what the red-shirts call a “judicial coup” in 2008.
Red-shirt leader Thida Tavornseth added that a shutdown of Bangkok would be a setback for both Thailand and democracy.
The anti-government protesters’ plan to seize the capital would cause problems for the public, and the PDRC and the Democrat Party were only serving aristocrats who were intent on obstructing democracy, she said.