Thai protest leader: Expats in 8 nations support us — Thai expatriates and their supporters in eight nations have sent messages of support to the anti-government protest group the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) as it prepares its “Bangkok shutdown” on Monday to pressure the caretaker government of Yingluck Shinawatra to step down and postpone the February 2 election, said a spokesman for the group on Wednesday.
Spokesman Akanat Promphan told reporters the PDRC had received backing from allies and networks in these eight countries: Germany, Denmark, Sweden, France, New Zealand, the United States, Australia, and England.
He said they supported the call for caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck to resign and pave the way for national reforms.
Mr. Akanat also said the PDRC received a positive response from the people in Thonburi on Tuesday when the protesters, led by PDRC general-secretary Suthep Thaugsuban, went there to get more support for the Bangkok shutdown. He said the people in Thonburi donated over 2.5 million baht to the PDRC, according to a Bangkok Post report.
He said the support shows people want reforms to take place before the next general election.
Mr. Akanat also said the protesters did not steal police firearms in a plan to create violence next week, as claimed by the government’s Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (Capo).
Mr. Suthep said the PDRC was sorry for its previous falling out with reporters. He said the PDRC has set up a team to look after reporters and provide safe areas for them to work.
“We’ve always respected the freedom of the press but you have to admit that there are some media members whose aim is to attack the PDRC. This causes dissatisfaction among the protesters and it’s difficult to control their emotions,” he said.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is temporarily closing 146 schools on Monday, saying the protests might not be safe for students who could face difficulties getting to and from school.