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Still strong after one year

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Red-shirts gather in large numbers to commemorate last-year's bloody April 10 crackdown and to plan for the future. 

Red shirt demonstrators wave candles as they perform a ceremony to mark the first anniversary of their clash with the army on April 10 last year during a protest on Ratchadamnoen Avenue. About 30,000 people attended the rally. PAWAT LAOPAISARNTAKSIN


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Red shirt ire re-ignites a year after showdown

UDD reaffirms its vow to press for justice

Manop Thip-Osod
Thanida Tansubhapol

The red shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship has announced an "April 10 Declaration", vowing to bring people behind the mass killing of red shirt protesters to justice and to fight against "outside forces" interfering with the election result.

UDD chair Thida Thavornseth read out the eight-point declaration at the Democracy Monument where about 30,000 red shirt supporters gathered to mark the first anniversary of the April 10 incident.

Twenty-six people, including five soldiers and 21 civilians were killed when security forces clashed with the red shirt protesters at Khok Wua intersection and Democracy Monument last year.

"The UDD will continue working to help the injured and families of the dead people," she told the crowd which turned Ratchadamnoen Klang Avenue into a sea of red. "We will bring the killers to justice, call for fair law enforcement and support any political parties that fight for democracy.

"The UDD will also closely monitor the upcoming general election. We will support the party that secures the majority vote to form the next government and will fight against outside forces that try to meddle with the poll result."

Ms Thida is the wife of UDD co-leader Weng Tojirakarn.

The final two missions written in the declaration were to push for a new constitution and to increase the number of red shirt supporters, she said.

Sunday's ceremony started late in the afternoon when a merit-making ceremony was held for the dead. UDD leaders later took turns to address the crowd with major issues surrounding the government's use of violence against protesters; the legitimacy of the Democrat-led government and calls for a fair election.

UDD co-leader and Puea Thai Party MP Jatuporn Prompan complained that the causes of the deaths of red shirt protesters and Japanese cameraman Hiroyuki Muramoto remained unknown. They were killed when soldiers tried to disperse the UDD protesters on Ratchadamnoen Avenue.

Mr Jatuporn said it was sad to see no one came out to apologise to the injured and people who lost their loved ones in the April-May crackdowns.

"How can we achieve reconciliation when nobody shows sympathy for the affected people? We cannot reconcile with people who killed our fellows," he said.

Pasit Sakdanarong, former secretary to the Constitution Court president, took the UDD stage for the first time Sunday.

Mr Pasit had fled an arrest warrant for allegedly releasing video clips related to the Democrat Party dissolution case before turning himself in late last month.

He likened the legal procedure involving the dissolution case against the Democrat Party and the pro-Thaksin People Power Party to football corruption.

He said match-fixing always favoured one football team.

In a video call to UDD demonstrators Sunday, Puea Thai de facto leader Thaksin Shinawatra, who is still on the run after receiving a two-year jail term for corruption during his tenure as prime minister, said he hoped for a decisive victory in the election and then he could return to Thailand.

"Soon people will have the decisive power and this election will turn out to be clear," Thaksin said, adding that he was now in a middle eastern country.

"I will return to meet people in the near future."

He called for a fair election and urged all parties to respect voters' decisions.

You can read the full story here: http://bit.ly/eTpkKm

demonstrators – people who march with other people in public to show that they support or oppose something ผู้ชุมนุมประท้วง
mark – to show respect for or to remember ระลึกถึง
anniversary – a date when you celebrate something that happened in a previous year that is important to you วันครบรอบ
clash – a fight between groups of people การปะทะกันสองฝ่าย
protest – a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something ชุมนุมประท้วง
rally – a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something การชุมนุม
ire – anger ความกริ้วโกรธ, ความโมโห
reignite – to start to burn again, in this case, anger not a fire  เริ่มใหม่showdown – a big fight, meeting, argument, etc. that settles a disagreement between people and proves who is the best or strongest การเผชิญหน้า
reaffirm – to give your support to a person, plan, idea, etc. for a second time; to strengthen ยืนยันใหม่
vow – a serious promise สาบาน
press for – to try in a determined way to make someone do something ผลักดัน, บังคับ, รบเร้า, กระตุ้น
justice – a fair result or punishment from a court of law ความยุติธรรม
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
declaration – an official announcement that something is true or is happening การประกาศ
mass – large numbers จำนวนมาก
interfere – to deliberately become involved in a situation and try to influence the way that it develops, although you have no right to do this  แทรกแซง
chair – the person in charge of a meeting, committee, or company ประธาน
incident – something that happens, usually something bad เหตุการณ์
civilian – of someone who does not belong to the armed forces or the police พลเรือน
intersection – a place where roads, lines, etc., join or cross each other สี่แยก
injured – hurt in an accident or attack ซึ่งได้รับบาดเจ็บ
law enforcement – the process of making sure that people obey the law การบังคับใช้กฎหมาย
monitor – to regularly check something or watch someone in order to find out what is happening  ตรวจสอบ ตรวจตรา
upcoming – happening soon ซึ่งกำลังจะเกิดขึ้น
secure – to get or achieve something ได้รับ
majority – most of the people in a group เสียงส่วนใหญ่ คนส่วนใหญ่
meddle – to become involved in a situation that you have no right to be involved in ก้าวก่าย แทรกแซง
poll – an election การเลือกตั้ง
mission – an important piece of work that a person or a group of people has been given to do ภาระกิจ หน้าที่
constitution – the set of laws and basic principles that a country in governed by รัฐธรรมนูญ
take turns – (of a number of people) to do the same thing one after the other สลับกัน
address – to speak publicly to a group of people  กล่าวปราศรัย
issue – matter; a subject that people discuss or argue about  ประเด็น
surrounding – to be closely connected with a situation or an event เชื่อมต่อกัน  เกี่ยวข้องกับ
violence – physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people ความรุนแรง
legitimacy – the fact that something is legal or fair and reasonable ถูกต้องตามกฎหมาย  ชอบด้วยกฎหมาย
disperse – (of a crowd) to cause to separate and move in different directions, i.e., to end being a crowd สลาย (การชุมนุม)
crackdown – strong action that someone in authority takes to stop a particular activity การใช้กำลังสลายผู้ประท้วง
reconciliation – a new and friendly relationship with someone who you argued with or fought with การทำให้ปรองดองกันอีก,  การสมานฉันท์
sympathy – a natural feeling of kindness and understanding that you have for someone who is experiencing something very unpleasant ความเห็นอกเห็นใจ
stage – a raised area, usually in a theatre, etc. where actors, dancers, etc. perform  เวที
fled (past of flee) – escaped; left an area very quickly because of a danger there หนีไป
arrest warrant – a document signed by a judge allowing police to arrest someone หมายจับ
allegedly – claimed to have done something wrong, but not yet proven ที่กล่าวหา
release – to allow something to be shown or known to the public or to be available for use เปิดเผย, ปล่อยข่าว
dissolution – the process of officially ending the existence of a group of organisation การยุบ (พรรค สภา)
case – a matter that is being officially investigated or heard by a court คดี
turn yourself in – to give yourself up to the police ยอมจำนน
liken – to compare เปรียบเทียบ
legal – relating to the law or lawyers เกี่ยวกับกฎหมาย
procedure – a way of doing something  ขั้นตอนการดำเนินการ
fixing – dishonestly arranging something so that it has the result you want ใช้วิธีการอันมิชอบ, เล่ห์เหลี่ยมเข้าคุม
favour – to give an advantage to someone or something, often in an unfair way ช่วยเหลือ
de facto – in reality;  in fact อย่างแท้จริง, อันที่จริง, ตามความจริง
jail term – the length of time a person is required to spend in jail
tenure – the period of time during which someone has an important job ช่วงระยะเวลาที่ดำรงตำแหน่ง
decisive – making the final result of a situation completely certain  แน่วแน่
urge – to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น
respect – to accept the importance of something; to act according to a rule or law เคารพ

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