Red Shirts leader vows to hold April 4 protest aimed at toppling government

"Red shirt" protesters in Bangkok in 2010. PHOTO: Facebook / Matias Vilhena

The chairman of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, whose supporters are commonly known as the Red Shirts, says he will lead a protest on April 4 with the aim of toppling the government. Jatuporn Promphan vows to take charge of what he’s calling a prolonged protest, to oust the administration of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha.

According to a Thai PBS World report, Jatuporn has remained on the sidelines since his release from prison in August 2016, more of an observer than a participant in the ongoing political protests. However, in a Facebook Live broadcast, he says the situation in Thailand has reached a critical point and he can no longer look on without acting. In yesterday’s live feed, he pledged to heed the call of Adul Khieuboriboon, leader of the relatives of the “Black May” victims. Up to 200,000 people took part in the 1992 Black May protest in Bangkok, which was an uprising against the military government of the day.

“The military crackdown resulted in 52 government-confirmed deaths, hundreds of injuries including journalists, over 3,500 arrests, hundreds of disappearances, and eyewitness reports of a truck filled with bodies leaving the city. Many of those arrested are alleged to have been tortured.”– Wikipedia.

Jatuporn says the April 4 protest will be similar to the Black May event, which saw people of all political sides join forces to fight dictatorship. He admits that the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship is no longer seen as a credible political presence in Thailand and that many politicians dismiss the idea that he could attract a mass following. However, he still hopes that a variety of people with differing political views and ideologies will join Sunday’s rally.

He says the PM is to blame for the country’s problems and must be removed from office if things are to improve for Thailand and its people.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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