Key government figures have dismissed red-shirt supporters' plan to hold counter-rallies against the Pitak Siam group, saying the move is unnecessary.
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung yesterday said there is no need for supporters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) to travel to Bangkok to show their opposition to the Pitak Siam (Protecting Siam) group led by Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit.
Mr Chalerm was responding to the threat by Udon Thani red-shirt leader Kwanchai Praipana, who announced on Monday that red-shirt supporters from 20 provinces are ready to counter any further anti-government rallies led by Pitak Siam. However, Mr Chalerm said if the red shirts were unhappy they could protest symbolically at provincial halls.
Gen Boonlert also said his group would stage another gathering soon. Mr Chalerm said he did not think the rally would develop into a siege of Government House.
Deputy Commerce Minister and red-shirt co-leader Nattawut Saikuar echoed Mr Chalerm's remark, saying any UDD counter-rallies could backfire as they might set the stage for political intervention by the old power clique.
Red-shirt co-leader Jatuporn Prompan also rejected Mr Kwanchai's threat to bring red shirts to Bangkok face off with Pitak Siam, saying such a hasty move would be pointless.
Meanwhile, UDD lawyers yesterday asked Crime Suppression Division police to take action against Sondhi Limthongkul, a co-leader of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), and Gen Boonlert for inciting rebellion and a coup. They submitted CDs of the Pitak Siam rally on Sunday and reports about the protest on the internet and in the media as evidence.
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