Thaksin call-in the highlight of red rally | Bangkok Post: learning

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Thaksin call-in the highlight of red rally

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Thaksin Shinawatra had everyone's attention as he made a video call to his red-shirt supporters gathered at Ratchaprasong to commemorate the violent crackdown ending their 2010 protest. 

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Ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra talks to his red shirt supporters via Skype during a gathering at the Ratchaprasong intersection Sunday. The gathering was held to remember the clashes between red shirt protesters and security forces that led to the end of a protracted rally at the intersection on May 19, 2010. THITI WANNAMONTHA

Click button to listen to May 19 rally and rightclick to download

26,000 reds recall bloodshed

Thaksin backs amnesty for rank and file UDD

Manop Thip-Osod
Achara Ashayagachat

Ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra said the government's amnesty efforts must focus on absolving red shirts facing legal action in connection with the 2010 political violence rather than protest leaders or even himself.

It would not matter if an amnesty bill exonerating political offenders was passed into law that did not also benefit protest leaders, he told red-shirt supporters in a one-hour Skype address last night.

Thaksin said he would not mind if he was not one of the beneficiaries of the law and could not return home.

"Let the innocent people be exonerated. There is no problem if red-shirt leaders and I are not included [in the amnesty bill]," Thaksin told about 26,000 red shirt demonstrators.

Red-shirt leaders hold a religious ceremony before beginning their demonstration. THITI WANNAMONTHA

Red shirts turned out in force at the Ratchaprasong intersection Sunday to remember the Democrat government's crackdown on their protest three years ago.

While lawmakers were deliberating the amnesty bills, the government would continue to take care of the red-shirt people, Thaksin said.

"We might have different opinions, but we must be united to fight for justice and for democracy," he said.

One of the more colourful protests in support of red-shirt prisoners. THITI WANNAMONTHA

Some red-shirt supporters are reportedly upset with the amnesty bill proposed by Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung as the bill will grant a blanket amnesty to all people involved in political violence including those responsible for the dispersal of red shirts during the April-May 2010 demonstrations.

Thaksin said he supported the Vorachai Hema amnesty bill, which would grant an amnesty to all involved in the political violence, except those who were responsible for the crackdown on the demonstrators.

Three years on after the May 19 crackdown, Thaksin said the public has learned the Democrat Party's allegations that red shirts "burnt down the city" were groundless, as the Criminal Court had acquitted suspects in the CentralWorld arson case due to weak evidence.

"I will give a 10-million-baht award to anyone who gives information about the real arsonists," Thaksin said.

He also defended Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's recent democracy speech in Mongolia.

He said his sister spoke the truth at the Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies in Mongolia on April 29. He said Ms Yingluck could not twist the truth about the country's democracy that was lost when the military staged a coup that ousted him in 2006.

The red-shirt gathering Sunday prompted the closure of the CentralWorld shopping complex and many other shops in the area. Five companies of riot police were deployed to ensure order at the rally, as red-shirt leaders and members of the Pheu Thai Party took turns to criticise the Democrat government for using military force to disperse the six-week demonstration in 2010.

Relatives of red-shirt supporters who died during the violence also held a separate event at Wat Pathum Wanaram. THITI WANNAMONTHA

The CentralWorld shopping complex closed its doors from 1pm Sunday after some red shirt protesters entered the building to take a rest.

The shopping complex was severely burnt during riots and arson attacks during the crackdown.

The UDD set up its stage at the Ratchaprasong intersection, facing the Pratunam intersection. Relatives of red-shirt supporters who died during the violence also held separate events at Wat Pathum Wanaram to commemorate the deaths of their loved ones.

ousted – forced out of a position of power ขับออกจากอำนาจ
gathering – an occasion when many people come together as a group การรวมตัว, การประชุม
intersection – a place where roads, lines, etc., join or cross each other สี่แยก
clash – a fight between groups of people การปะทะกันสองฝ่าย
protester – someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc  ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง
protracted – lasting for a long time ที่ยืดเยื้อเป็นเวลานาน
rally – a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something การชุมนุม
recall – to remember จำได้ นึกทบทวน
bloodshed – a situation in which people are killed or injured, especially during fighting การนองเลือด
back – to support ให้การสนับสนุน
amnesty – a situation in which a government agrees not to punish people who have committed a crime การนิรโทษกรรม
rank and file – the ordinary members of an organisation สมาชิกในทีมที่ไม่ใช่หัวหน้า
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 led the fight against the Abhisit government. They are known for wearing red shirts แนวร่วมประชาธิปไตยต่อต้านเผด็จการแห่งชาต
absolve – to state formally that somebody is not guilty or responsible for something  ปลดเปลื้อง, อภัยโทษ
legal – relating to the law or lawyers เกี่ยวกับกฎหมาย
violence – physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people ความรุนแรง, การใช้กำลังทำลาย
bill – a proposal for a law ร่างกฎหมาย
exonerate – to officially state or prove that someone is not to be blamed for something ทำให้พ้นจากความผิด
offender – a person who is guilty of a crime ผู้กระทำความผิด
benefit – an advantage you get from a situation; a helpful or good effect, or something intended to help ผลประโยชน์, ข้อได้เปรียบ, ผลดี
address – a formal speech  คำปราศรัย
beneficiary – a person who gains as the result of something ผู้ได้รับผลประโยชน์
innocent – a person who has not done anything wrong ผู้บริสุทธิ์
demonstrators – people who march with other people in public to show that they support or oppose something ผู้ชุมนุมประท้วง
crackdown – strong action that someone in authority takes to stop a particular activity การใช้กำลังเข้าปราบปรามของเจ้าหน้าที่
deliberate – to consider carefully, usually before making a decision พิจารณา, ตรึกตรอง
united – in agreement and working together เป็นหนึ่งเดียว, มีเอกภาพ
justice – fairness in the way people are dealt with ความเป็นธรรม, ความถูกต้อง, ความยุติธรรม
reportedly – as reported (often used for showing that you are not certain that something you are reporting is true) ตามที่รายงาน
upset – unhappy or disappointed because of something unpleasant that has happened  ว้าวุ่นใจ, กังวลใจ, ไม่สบายใจ, สับสน
propose – to suggest an idea for a group to consider เสนอ
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
grant – to officially give something  ให้
blanket – affecting or aimed at everyone or everything equally, even when this is not sensible or fair ครอบคลุม, กว้าง
involved – taking part or having a role in something เกี่ยวข้อง
responsible – deserving to be blamed for something that has happened มีความรับผิดชอบ
dispersal – (of a crowd of people) the process of causing to separate and leave in different directions  การสลายฝูงชน
demonstration – an occasion when a group of people gather together to support or protest about something การชุมนุม
allegation – an accusation; a statement that someone has done something wrong or illegal even though this has not been proved ข้อกล่าวหา
groundless – based on no good reasons or facts ไม่มีมูลความจริง
Criminal Court – a court which hears criminal cases, i.e., cases where people are accused of breaking a law and where punishment involves going to jail. ศาลอาญา
acquit – to state officially that someone is not guilty of the crime they were accused of ตัดสินให้พ้นโทษ
suspect – a person who is thought to have committed a crime ผู้ต้องสงสัย
arson – the illegal use of fire to destroy a house, building, or property; an arsonist is a person who commits arson การลอบวางเพลิง  
evidence – facts statements or objects that help to prove whether or not someone has committed a crime หลักฐาน
arsonist – a person who commits the crime of deliberately and illegally setting something on fire ผู้ที่ลอบวางเพลิง
defend – to say things to support someone or something ปกป้อง
twist – to distort; to falsely change the true facts of something บิดเบือน
stage a coup – to forcefully seize power ใช้กำลังยึดอำนาจและเปลี่ยนแปลงรัฐบาล
prompt – to cause someone to take action กระตุ้น
complex – a large building with various connected rooms or a related group of buildings
company – a group of soldiers or police that is usually divided into two or more smaller groups กองร้อย
riot police – police who are trained to deal with violent groups of people ตำรวจปราบจราจล
deploy – (of police or soldiers) to put in place ready for action ส่ง (ทหาร, ตำรวจ) ประจำการ
ensure – to make certain that something happens or is done  ให้การยืนยัน, รับรอง, ให้ความมั่นใจ
order – a situation in which everything is well organized or arranged ความเป็นระเบียบเรียบร้อย
criticise – to say that you disapprove of somebody/something; to say what you do not like or think is wrong about somebody/something วิจารณ์, ติเตียน,จับผิด
disperse – (of a crowd) to cause to separate and move in different directions, i.e., to end being a crowd สลาย (การชุมนุม)
relative – a member of your family ญาติพี่น้อง
commemorate – to remember someone or something officially การระลึกถึง

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