Pro-govt groups grow stronger
- Published: 22/11/2012 at 07:09 PM
- Online news:
Various pro-government groups on Thursday reinforced their solidarity against a possible coup while government authorities went onto full alert for the weekend rally aimed at toppling the Yingluck Shinawatra administration.
Payao Akkahad, mother of the slain volunteer medic at Pathum Wanaram temple on May 19, 2010, led a dozen relatives of the victims of the 2010 crackdown to appeal to Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, the national army chief, not to support the Pitak Siam rally.
An officer at the Army Headquarters received their appeal letter, which demanded the military protect democracy and the will of the majority of the Thai people.
"We don't want to see the army get involved and anyone further killed. We've lost so many already. We hope the military will not support any individuals trying to topple the democratic system," said Mrs Payao, mother of nurse Kamolgade who was killed while on duty.
Another group called Democracy Lovers' Alliance led 50 students from the Four-Region Network of Thai Students Against Freezing Thailand also showed up in the afternoon at the Army Headquarters.
The group came with a truck and loudspeakers to discourage the army from supporting Pitak Siam which is staging a rally on Saturday and possibly Sunday and to promise not to intervene with troops. The students also handed out anti-coup stickers to passers-by.
Earlier in the morning about 30 members of the October 14, 1973 Relatives Network also gathered in front of Government House with pro-Yingluck government banners.
Lamied Boonmak, chair of the 14 October, 1973 Network, said the survivors and relatives of the deaths from that incident, which paved way for democracy in Thailand, did not want to see another undemocratic intervention.
"Our country has lost so many democracy lovers, why do people still want to call for another coup," said Ms Lamied, 66, wife of Jira Boonmak -- a masters degree student of the National Institute of Development Administration who died in the anti-military government unrest in 1973.
Pa-Nga Boonprakob, 59, who was injured in the 1973 incident, said she would like to lend moral support to the prime minister and did not want to see further casualties.
"We do not want to have another coup. Whenever there is a military intervention, there are always deaths and injuries. Even our group, we have yet to get the final financial remedy from the state. Three governments have promised to provide the last sum of money before our dying days. We have yet to get it," said the Tao Poon resident, whose stomach and right arm were punctured by M-16 blasts.
The government has gone onto full alert. A convoy of about 30 police coaches streamed into the capital from nearby provinces and the officers stationed around the rally areas.
Security sources said the security forces had been beefed up to 50,000 officers to ensure no siege of government buildings could be made by the Pitak Siam group like the situation in 2007 during which the yellow-shirt supporters laid siege to Government House for months.
About the author
- Writer: Wassana Nanuam