Phan Fa Bridge March 25, 2010: Core leaders of the United front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) have met with 30 representatives of 16 foreign countries to explain the ongoing peoples protest for democracy at Phan Fa Bridge.
Veera Musikhapong, chairman of the UDD, told the foreign representatives that he wished the ongoing protest would end tomorrow, but that the UDD was prepared to continue rallying using peaceful means until Thailand Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva dissolved the parliament and returned the power to the people.
The meeting, which lasted more than two hours, saw government representatives of Malaysia, Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Singapore, the EU, and the USA, along with the ambassadors of the Netherlands and New Zealand, receive an in depth briefing on the aims of the red-shirt protests.
Mr. Veera said the diplomats were told the UDD intended to continue rallying peacefully to achieve its goal, which he said the diplomats said they understood.
When questioned on the roll of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Mr. Veera said the diplomats were told that while many red-shirts still admired Mr. Thaksin, he was not bank-rolling the protests as claimed by the government and was merely a symbol or figurehead that was uniting grassroots democracy supporters.
“I told the diplomats that this protest is about democracy, it’s about personal freedoms, it’s about a system created by the aristocracy for the benefit of the aristocracy that disenfranchises the poor and the rural classes and is not about Thaksin or any other individual”, he said.
Mr Veera said many of the diplomats had expressed their desire to visit the rally site at Phan Fa Bridge to meet some of the protesters and assure themselves of the peaceful beliefs of the protesters and the UDD is currently making arrangements for the diplomats to make an inspection of the rally site.