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Reds shirts on the move

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Red shirts were on the move through Bangkok again yesterday, mourning the dead and demanding the release of those detained. 

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Red shirts call for release of detainees

Motor rally marks clash anniversary


Red shirt demonstrators have used a motor rally around Bangkok to call for the release of almost 300 protesters who have been arrested and detained under the emergency decree over the past six months.

About 5,000 red shirt members yesterday joined the rally to remember the April 10 clashes six months ago between red shirt demonstrators and government forces at Khok Wua intersection.

Twenty-six people were killed and over 800 were injured in the clash.

Police arrested red shirt supporters on April 10 and many more in rioting on May 19 when the red shirt rally in Bangkok was brought to an end.

They were charged with breaching the emergency decree and with terrorism, said Chaiwat Trakarnratsanti, coordinator of the Progressive Democracy Group (PDG), which organised yesterday’s rally.

‘‘We want the government to release all red shirt detainees immediately because they are not terrorists,’’ Mr Chaiwat said.

‘‘They are innocent civilians who just wanted to express their political stance.’’

The red shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship set up camp in Bangkok’s streets from March 12 to May 19 to demand that the Abhisit Vejjajiva government dissolve the House and call a general election.

The protest turned violent a second time after government forces reclaimed the main demonstration site in the Ratchaprasong area on May 19, bringing an end to the 67-day rally.

Clashes over the period claimed 92 lives and left 1,400 people injured.

The red shirts have been gathering every Sunday in Bangkok and other provinces since to commemorate the clashes.

A woman in her 40s who supports the red shirts said yesterday she and her friends joined the weekly gatherings because the government was treating red shirt supporters unfairly.

State agencies have closed red shirt websites for alleged violations of the Computer Crime Act, she said.

The PDG, an alliance of businessmen and academics, said about 300 red shirt supporters were being held in prisons nationwide.

The group said it would organise activities and gatherings to demand justice for families of the red shirt victims and to call for the release of all red shirt detainees.

Hundreds of uniformed and plainclothed police were deployed at the rally sites yesterday.

The red shirts gathered at Lumpini Park in the morning to make merit for those who died in the April-May clashes.

They later moved to nearby Ratchaprasong intersection, where the motor rally was launched.

The motor procession moved from Ratchaprasong to Pratunam, Din Daeng, the Victory Monument, Phetchaburi intersection, Phan Fa Bridge on Ratchadamnoen Avenue and finished at Khok Wua intersection.

Red shirt supporters lighted red candles and released lanterns into the sky to mourn those who died.

Traffic lanes around the Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Avenue were blocked for about an hour amid tight security. Large crowds turned out. Sombat Boonngarm-anong, another red shirt leader who organised the candle ceremony, demanded Prime Minister Abhisit apologise to relatives of red shirts who lost loved ones in the clashes.

‘‘People must be held responsible for the violence,’’ Mr Sombat said.

release – to allow someone to go free ปล่อยตัว
detainee – someone who is kept in prison  ผู้ที่ถูกกักขัง คุมขัง
rally – a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something การชุมนุม
mark – to show respect for or to remember ระลึกถึง
clash – a fight between groups of people การปะทะกันสองฝ่าย
anniversary – a date when you celebrate something that happened in a previous year that is important to you
demonstrators – people who march with other people in public to show that they support or oppose something ผู้ชุมนุมประท้วง
emergency decree – a situation where the government takes on special powers in a dangerous situation and the rights of the people are often limited in some way ประกาศภาวะฉุกเฉิน 
injured – hurt in an accident or attack ซึ่งได้รับบาดเจ็บ
intersection – a place where roads, lines, etc., join or cross each other สี่แยก
rioting – a violent protest by a group of people ความไม่สงบ การจลาจล
charge – to accuse someone officially of committing a crime ตั้งข้อกล่าวหา
breach – a failure to follow a law or rule การละเมิดกฎหมาย
terrorism – the use of violence to achieve political aims การใช้ความรุนแรงเพื่อข้อเรียกร้องทางการเมือง
coordinator – someone whose job is to organise the various parts of an activity and make sure that all the people involved work well together ผู้ประสานงาน
immediately – happening right after something else with no delay; right away ทันที
innocent – not having done anything wrong บริสุทธิ์
civilian – of someone who does not belong to the armed forces or the police พลเรือน
stance – an attitude or view about an issue that you state clearly; position จุดยืน
United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) – the group originally formed to demonstrate against the 2006 coup and which supported the Somchai Wongsawat government against the PAD and which is now leading the fight against the current government. They are known for wearing red shirts แนวร่วมประชาธิปไตยต่อต้านเผด็จการแห่งชาต
dissolve the House - to end a parliament, normally to call a new election ยุบสภา
violent – involving the use of physical force, with the intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people รุนแรง
reclaim – to take back something that was yours เรียกกลับคืน, เอากลับ
site – a place where something happened สถานที่
claim the life of – to kill someone
gathering –a meeting when many people come together as a group การรวมตัว, การประชุม
commemorate - to remember officially and give respect to a great person or event, especially by a public ceremony or by making a statue or special building ฉลอง (เพื่อเป็นการระลึกถึง)
state – government รัฐบาล
alleged – claimed to be true although not yet proven ที่ถูกกล่าวหา
violation – an action that is against a law, agreement, principle, etc.  การฝ่าฝืนกฎหมาย
Act – a law passed by a country’s government พ.ร.บ. พระราชบัญญัติ
alliance – a coalition; an arrangement to work together พันธมิตร
academic – someone who teaches at a college, or who studies as part of their job นักวิชาการ
nationwide – throughout a whole country  ทั่วทั้งประเทศ
justice - fairness in the way people are dealt with ความเป็นธรรม, ความถูกต้อง
deploy – (of police or soldiers) to put in place ready for action ส่ง (ทหารตำรวจ) ประจำการ
launch – to start something เริ่มต้น, เปิดโครงการ, เริ่มทำ
procession – a line of people or vehicles moving in a slow and formal way as part of an event ขบวน(ราช) รถในพิธี
lantern – a light enclosed in a container which has a handle for holding it or hanging it up, or the container itself โคมไฟ
mourn – to feel extremely sad because someone has died and to express this in public ไว้อาลัย, ไว้ทุกข์, เศร้าโศก
amid – during the time when something else is happening ท่ามกลาง
apologise – to say you are sorry for doing something wrong or for cause a problem ขอโทษ
relative – a member of your family ญาติพี่น้อง
hold responsible – to blame someone or something ต้องรับผิดชอบ

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