General Boonlert Kaewprasit appears to be fond of toying with numbers. Before Pitak Siam's Oct 28 anti-government rally at the Royal Turf Club, or Nang Loerng race course, the retired general said it would be the first but also the last if it managed to attract only a few thousand participants.
It turned out that well over 10,000 people joined in the protest, which was beyond his wildest imagining – thanks to the support of the Santi Asoke sect and the multi-coloured group, which chipped in with thousands of their members. The People’s Alliance for Democracy did not officially take part, but its leaders made it clear its members would participate if they so wished.
Buoyed by this unexpected high turnout, which also caught the government off-guard, Gen Boonlert has set his sight on one million participants for the second, mega rally scheduled for Nov 24-25 at the Royal Plaza. He said that if the target was not met, he would not organise another demonstration.