Army takes down fraud centre sign

Army takes down fraud centre sign

This 'referendum monitor' banner lasted only briefly before troops raided the shop and hauled it down. Put up by the red shirts' United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, it reads: 'Referendum must not be derailed. No fraud. UDD's centre for fighting fraud in the Aug 7 referendum'. (Post Today photo)
This 'referendum monitor' banner lasted only briefly before troops raided the shop and hauled it down. Put up by the red shirts' United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, it reads: 'Referendum must not be derailed. No fraud. UDD's centre for fighting fraud in the Aug 7 referendum'. (Post Today photo)

Military officials removed a placard put up outside a shop in Lampang's Muang district Tuesday by members of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), promoting their new anti-referendum fraud centre.

The group hopes to set up a nationwide network of centres to monitor possible fraud in the Aug 7 charter referendum.

The banner read "Referendum must not be derailed. No fraud. UDD's centre for fighting fraud in the Aug 7 referendum."

The UDD member and shop owner, identified only as Thimolwan Jinakul, or Je Pen, did not resist when the military took down the banner.

Col Metha Naphikul, deputy chief of staff of the 32nd Military Circle, who led the operation, said Ms Thimolwan was the first in Lampang to put up such a banner to mark the UDD's move to open an anti-fraud centre, which is opposed by the government.

Third Army commander Lt Gen Somsak Nilbanjerdkul said the military had learned the UDD was preparing to set up its centres nationwide.

Meanwhile, the group creating the controversial referendum campaign song and the Election Commission (EC) have reached an agreement to edit lyrics which have upset some voters, a source said Tuesday.

The move came in spite of the EC's earlier refusal to bow to critics who said the lyrics patronised voters in the North and the Northeast, political strongholds of the former ruling Pheu Thai Party.

The song was released for the EC's campaign to promote the Aug 7 referendum when voters will cast their votes for or against the draft constitution.

EC deputy secretary-general Thanis Sriprathes, meanwhile, insisted the songwriters had moved to ease concerns over the lyrics themselves, not following any resolution by the EC.

The EC will continue to use the old version of the song along with the newly edited one.

It also will invite linguistic experts to a meeting to discuss about the controversial lyrics and whether they think they should be changed, Mr Thanis said Tuesday.


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