Red-dressing day turns pale

Red-dressing day turns pale

Thaksin Shinawatra posts a picture of him dressed in red on Sunday. (Photo from Thaksinlive Instagram)
Thaksin Shinawatra posts a picture of him dressed in red on Sunday. (Photo from Thaksinlive Instagram)

The campaign to wear a red shirt on Sunday as an indicator of support for former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra passed quietly, even in some strongholds of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD).

The atmosphere in Udon Thani, Pha Yao and Udon Ratchathani provinces, where UDD members were active before the coup last year, was subdued as only a small number of members went out in red. Even in Bangkok, police reported no signs of groups of people wearing the colour.

Some Pheu Thai members, including Pichai Naripthaphan, former MP for Ubon Ratchathani Somkid Cheukong and former MP for Samut Prakarn Worachai Hemma, were seen in red clothing, according to Thai Rath Online.

Pol Maj Gen Weerapong Wongsamarn, the police chief of Udon Thani, was pleased with the day, crediting it to earlier talks with key red-shirt members in the northeastern province to seek cooperation and to ignore the red call.

Siriwat Jupamattha, a UDD coordinator in Pha Yao, said Sunday had no special meaning for him as he wore the colour every day.

Acting Metropolitan Police chief Pol Lt Gen Sanit Mahathavorn told INN that there were no signs of more people wearing red in Bangkok. He said police responsible for the capital's security were not given special orders to cope with the one-day campaign.

It was unclear who actually made the original call to dress in red on Sunday, but the message was shared on social media by some UDD members as Ms Yingluck is battling charges in court over mishandling of the loss-making rice pledging scheme.

Her brother and former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra appeared on Instagram with a red shirt on Sunday morning and said he was doing it for justice and the restoration of democracy in Thailand.

The fate of the campaign looked uncertain from the start about two weeks ago as both Ms Yingluck and red-shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan were not keen to see it begin as it could turn her and the UDD into targets for political criticism. Mr Jatuporn has announced that the call was not initiated by the UDD and suspected that it could be a political trap to damage the group.

The government and National Council for Peace and Order had earlier urged there be no activities to spoil their plans to end political rifts.

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