Phuket red shirts head to Bangkok

PHUKET: More than one thousand Phuket red shirts have reportedly left the island to take part in mass demonstrations in Bangkok.

A local leader of the red-shirt United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) movement, Soonthorn Tohmharn, said there would be no demonstrations in Phuket.

A huge UDD protest in Bangkok is set to take place tomorrow afternoon in a last ditch effort to topple Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s government.

The protests are expected to draw hundreds of thousands of red shirts from around the country.

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PM Abhisit said the Internal Security Act would be imposed to deal with the protests.

I hope we don’t need to impose martial law,” he said.

Mr Soonthorn insisted there would be no violence in Phuket.

We are not going to burn our own home,” he said. “We are aware of what we should and shouldn’t do,” he added.

All red shirts are following their heart to the capital,” he said.

Phuket City Police Acting Superintendent Chaiwat Auykham said he was not worried about red-shirt protests in Phuket. However, he expected a hike in criminal activity to coincide with the Bangkok demonstrations.

I have ordered local police to make hourly checks, especially on politicians and government buildings such as the Phuket Provincial Court, to ensure safety and order,” he said.

Representatives from Phuket’s yellow-shirted People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) said yesterday they urged all political group members to refrain from violence.

Phuket PAD leader Soonthorn Rakrong said his members would not attempt to stop red-shirt protests in the South.

He added, however, that due to the large number of yellow shirts in the region, the leadership would not be able to exert complete control over the situation.

— Kitima Pornmongkhonwat

Phuket News
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