RATCHAPRASONG, MAY 6, 2010: United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) leaders have again today debunked speculation that the red-shirt rally at Ratchaprasong will soon be packing up and the protesters returning home.
UDD secretary-general Natthawut Saikua said the red-shirt leaders were still waiting to see the sincerity of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s five point road map for reconciliation and whether it was a concrete proposal with the support of all opposition factions and parties, or just hollow rhetoric.
“We have made no plans for packing up our tents and stage and returning to our homes and families until we see this is a concrete plan and not just words. Once we know for certain that the reconciliation plan is a firm road map as outlined then we will discuss amongst ourselves what is needed to demonstrate its sincerity”, he said.
Mr. Natthawut said the prime minister needed to do more than just set a pariamemtary dissolution date before the red-shirts would return home.
“It has been widely reported that all we want is a firm dissolution date and then we will pack up and go home. When we acknowledged our acceptance of Abhisit’s reconciliation offer it was simply agreeing to the concept of the plan as what it contained is what we have been lobbying for all along.
“Abhisit has made this look like this is his idea. In reality it is what the red-shits have been asking for since our protest started and since the government attacked our peaceful protest with heavy war weapons and killed our supporters”.
Mr. Natthawut said “we have said all along that the proposal of PM Abhisit needs to be backed up with actions to demonstrate its sincerity before the rally would come to an end.
“These actions include the lifting of the current state of emergency declaration, the freedom for people to move and assemble for political purposes free of intimidation and harassment by soldiers and police armed with weapons, the return to air of the People Television Channel, and the lifting of censorship and blocking of media and websites supportive of the red-shirt movement to name a few.
“Once we see this is a genuine offer the leaders will meet together as we did a few days ago and formulate a response that will list the prerequisites for us bringing our peaceful rally to an end and returning home’, he said.
Mr. Natthawut said speculation that the red-shirts wool dismantle their stage, tents and barricades at Ratchaprasong over the next couple of days is pure conjecture without any basis.
“We’ve said we agree to the points outlined in the Abhisit plan, but now we want proof he can deliver what he has offered. This government has used the might of the Thai Army against peaceful protesters, injuring more than 1,000 people and causing the death of 27 overs. With actions such as this we want proof that the reconciliation plan is more than just words crafted for the international and community and Bangkok elite before we go home”, he added.
Today is day 52 of the red-shirts pro-democracy protest against the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and the 32nd day protesters have occupied the Ratchaprasong shopping precinct in the heart of Bangkok.