(Sat. Update) Amnesty protests continue

(Sat. Update) Amnesty protests continue

After 19 hours of often acrimonious debate, the House of Representatives passed the third and final reading of the Phue Thai party's controversial amnesty bill. Meanwhile, groups opposing the amnesty increase the pressure.

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Saturday morning update

The anti-Thaksin coalition represented by Suriyasai Katasila and Somkiat Pongpaibul (third and fourth from left) announced yesterday it would mobilise protesters countrywide to come to Bangkok to join the protests. APICHIT JINKUL

The anti-Thaksin coalition has thrown its support to the anti-government rally at Uruphong (left). Meanwhile, the Democrats held a second day of rallies near Samsen railway station. PAWAT LAOPAISARNTAKSIN / PATIPAT JANTHONG

Allied anti-Thaksin Shinawatra groups nationwide announced they will mobilise supporters to gather in the capital to protest against the government's amnesty bill, which passed its final House reading early yesterday.

However, the main opposition Democrat Party elected not to expand its own anti-amnesty rally being held in the Samsen area.

The anti-Thaksin coalition represented by Suriyasai Katasila and Somkiat Pongpaibul, the State Enterprises Workers' Relations Confederation and the Dhamma Army announced yesterday it would mobilise protesters countrywide to come to Bangkok to join the protests.

The called on protesters to join either the rally of the Network of Students and People for Reform of Thailand (NSPRT) at Uruphong intersection or the People's Force for Democracy to Overthrow Thaksinism (Pefot) at Lumpini Park.

"Amnesty opponents countrywide should join the anti-government rallies [in Bangkok]," Mr Somkiat said in a statement. "Some should go to Uruphong intersection to help the NSPRT defend the rally site against being reclaimed by the authorities."

He claimed Phaya Thai police station would attempt to reclaim the Uruphong area today.

Friday afternoon update

Democrat MPs are expanding their rally site near the Samsen railway station.

Democrat MPs have erected extra tents along Kamphaeng Phet 5 road, from the intersection with Sethasiri road to the intersection with Nakhon Chaisri road.

Additional drinking water, toilet facilities, projectors, lights and speakers have been delivered to the site after people attending the rally on Thursday night complained that they could not see or hear protest leaders on stage.

No, that's not the real thing. Here, Thammasat students protest the passage of the amnesty bill in front of the Phue Thai headquarters THANARAK KHOONTON

Meanwhile, Thammasat students opposed to a blanket amnesty have staged an unusual protest outside Phue Thai party headquarters which they say distorts the rule of law.

Democrat MPs remaining in parliament gather around the desk of Apirak Kosayothin during a break in the debate to watch a live broadcast from their protest site near the Samsen railway station. They later walked out in protest over the amnesty bill. PANUMAS SANGUANWONG

Morning story:

House passes amnesty bill; protests continue

In the early hours of this morning and after 19 hours of often acrimonious debate, the House of Representatives passed the third and final reading of the controversial amnesty bill sponsored by the ruling Pheu Thai party.

The vote was 310 - 0, as the opposition Democrats had staged a walkout prior to the vote. Significantly, four Pheu Thai members associated with the red shirt movement abstained.

The bill is an amended version approved by a House scrutiny panel, which offers a blanket amnesty for all those involved in political protests from Jan 1, 2004 to Aug 8, 2013, except those accused of violating Section 112 of the Criminal Code, also known as the lese majeste law.

The bill now goes to the Senate for final approval although the Democrats have vowed to petition the Constitution Court to have it revoked.

The passage of the bill is likely to breathe new life into protests organised to oppose the blanket amnesty. The bill's critics say that the amnesty would, once again, allow those involved in politically-motivated violence to go free, ensuring that it would happen again in the future.

Here is an excerpt from the Bangkok Post's lead story this morning

Police estimated the crowd at Democrat rally last night at 20,000. PATIPAT JANTHONG

Crowd sounds whistles to kill bill

20,000 vow to dig in for long amnesty fight

Mongkol Bangprapa,
Aekarach Sattaburuth 
Penchan Charoensuthipan

Sounds of whistles filled the air around Samsen railway station yesterday evening as Democrat MP for Surat Thani Suthep Thaugsuban vowed to press ahead with an all-out protest until the amnesty bill is withdrawn.

On the first day of the party-led protest, which drew around 20,000 participants, Mr Suthep took the stage to declare the rally would "go all the way".

He said the protest would not end until Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra withdraws the bill from parliament.

"If not, we will keep on fighting," he said. "If the prime minister's conscience is clear and she is aware that she is elected because the people trust her, then she must not hurt the people.

"She should withdraw the bill and announce that she will not do it again. That would be the end of the fight."

Mr Suthep said the Samsen rally was not merely a stage for the Democrat Party, and that the "people's struggle" was open to everyone who opposed the amnesty bill.

He encouraged supporters from outside Bangkok to take a train to Samsen station to join the rally. Protests against the bill are also being staged at various provincial halls across the country.

Opponents of the amnesty bill arrive at Samsen station to join the Democrat rally there. PATIPAT JANTHONG

Protesters began arriving at the Samsen rally site yesterday afternoon. Centres for logistical support and food supplies were already up and running, indicating the protesters were gearing up for a prolonged demonstration.

When Mr Suthep took the stage about 7pm, police put the size of the crowd at 20,000.

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  • abstain: to decide not to use your vote - ไม่ออกเสียง
  • acrimonious (adj.): angry and full of strong bitter feelings and words - เผ็ดร้อน (คำพูด, กิริยาวาจา), รุนแรง, ดุเดือด
  • all-out: complete; involving all of someone’s energy, strength, and determination - อย่างเต็มที่, ไม่มีเหลือไว้เลย, ทั้งหมด
  • amend: to make changes to a document, law, agreement, etc. especially in order to improve it - การแก้ไขกฎหมาย
  • amnesty (noun): a situation in which a government agrees not to punish, or to no longer punish, people who have committed a particular crime - การนิรโทษกรรม
  • approved: given official agreement or permission - ได้รับการรับรองแล้ว
  • associated with: connected with in some way - ที่เชื่อมโยงกัน
  • authority (noun): a person or government agency who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
  • bill: a proposal for a law - ร่างกฎหมาย
  • blanket: affecting or aimed at everyone or everything equally, even when this is not sensible or fair - ครอบคลุม, กว้าง
  • breathe new life (exp.): to give someone/something new strength to do something -
  • broadcast: a programme that can be seen or heard on television or radio - แพร่ภาพกระจายเสียง
  • coalition (noun): the act of two or more groups joining together; a group formed by people from several different groups, especially political ones, agreeing to work together for a particular purpose - การรวมเป็นหนึ่งเดียว, การร่วมกัน, การร่วมมือกัน, การประสานกัน
  • complain: to say that you are annoyed, unhappy or not satisfied about somebody/something - บ่น, ร้องทุกข์
  • confederation: a group of organisations that are united - การรวมกลุ่มกัน สหภาพ สมาพันธ์
  • conscience: the part of your mind that tells you whether your actions are right or wrong - สัมปชัญญะ
  • Constitution Court: the court that decides whether or not laws follow the constitution - ศาลรัฐธรรมนูญ
  • controversial: causing disagreement or disapproval - ความไม่ลงรอยกัน
  • countrywide: throughout a whole country - ทั่วทั้งประเทศ
  • Criminal Code: the systems of laws dealing with crimes and their punishment - ประมวลกฎหมายอาญา
  • critic: a person who expresses disapproval of somebody/something and talks about their bad qualities, especially publicly - ผู้วิจารณ์, ผู้จับผิด, ผู้วิเคราะห์
  • declare: to announce officially - ประกาศ
  • demonstration: an occasion when a group of people gather together to support or protest about something - การชุมนุม
  • dig in (verb): to wait, or deal with a difficult situation, with great patience - อดทนรอ
  • distort: to change something such as information so that it is not longer true or accurate - บิดเบือน
  • drew (past of draw): attracted - ดึงดูด
  • elect (verb): to choose/decide to do something when you have other choices - เลือก, ตัดสินใจ
  • encourage: to cause someone to want to do something - กระตุ้น ให้การสนับสนุน
  • ensure: to make certain that something happens or is done - ให้การยืนยัน, รับรอง, ให้ความมั่นใจ
  • erect: to put the parts of something together so that it stands upright - ตั้งขึ้น
  • estimate: an amount that you guess or calculate using the information available - ประมาณการ
  • excerpt: a part of a longer story, speech, song, text, etc. - บทคัดย่อ
  • expand: to make or become larger - ขยาย
  • facility: a place, especially including buildings, where a particular activity happens -
  • gear up: to prepare yourself, or to prepare something for an activity or event - เตรียม (บางสิ่งเช่น เครื่องจักร) ให้พร้อมสำหรับ
  • headquarters: the place where an organisation or company has its main offices - สำนักงานใหญ่ กองบัญชาการ
  • House: House of Representatives - สภา
  • indicate: to show that something is true, exists or will happen - แสดง, ทำให้รู้
  • intersection: a place where roads, lines, etc., join or cross each other - สี่แยก
  • involved (verb): taking part or having a role in something - เกี่ยวข้อง, มีบทบาท
  • lese majeste: the crime of offending, threatening or showing disrespect for a member of the royal family - หมิ่นพระบรมเดชานุภาพ
  • live: happening now, i.e., not recorded earlier - ถ่ายทอดสด
  • logistics: the practical arrangements that are necessary in order to organise something successfully, especially something involving a lot of people or equipment - การส่งกำลังบำรุง
  • meanwhile: at the same time - ในเวลาเดียวกัน
  • merely: only; used for emphasising that something is small or unimportant - เพียงเท่านั้น
  • mobilise: to bring together for a particular purpose - ระดมพล
  • motivated: done for a particular reason - มีแรงจูงใจ ถูกโน้มน้าวใจ
  • movement (noun): a group of people who share the same aim and work together to achieve it - การเคลื่อนไหวเพื่อวัตถุประสงค์ทางการเมือง
  • oppose: to disagree with or not approve of a plan or policy - คัดค้าน
  • opposition: of a political party that is not part of the government - ฝ่ายค้าน  
  • panel: a group of people who make decisions or judgments - คณะกรรมการ
  • participant: someone who takes part in something - ผู้เข้าร่วม
  • petition: to ask someone in authority to do something - ยื่นคำร้อง
  • prior: before - ก่อนหน้า
  • prolonged: lasting a long time - ยืดเวลาต่อไป
  • 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
  • reclaim: to take back something that was yours - เรียกกลับคืน, เอากลับ
  • revoke: to officially say that something is no longer legal - เพิกถอน
  • ruling: having control over a particular group, country, etc - ซึ่งมีอำนาจ, ซึ่งปกครอง
  • scrutiny: careful and thorough examination - การตรวจสอบอย่างละเอียด
  • significantly: in an important way - อย่างมีความหมาย, อย่างสำคัญ
  • site: a place where something is located - สถานที่
  • stage (noun): a raised area, usually in a theatre, etc. where actors, dancers, speakers etc. perform - เวที
  • stage: to organise an event or activity - จัด
  • state enterprise: a company or business owned and managed by the government - รัฐวิสาหกิจ
  • struggle: a difficult fight or an attempt to defeat someone - การต่อสู้เพื่อความอยู่รอด
  • trust: to believe someone is honest, fair, and reliable - เชื่อใจ, ไว้วางใจ
  • version: a particular form of something which varies slightly from other forms of the same thing - ชุด, เวอร์ชั่น
  • violate: to do something that is against the law - ละเมิดกฏหมาย
  • violence: physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people - ความรุนแรง, การใช้กำลังทำลาย
  • vow: to make a formal and serious promise to do something or to promise what you say is true - สาบาน, ปฏิญาณ
  • whistle: a small metal or plastic tube that you blow to make a loud high sound, used to attract attention or as a signal - นกหวีด
  • withdraw: to take away - ถอน

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