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Phuket yellow shirts bus to Bangkok to join protest

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Phuket members of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), also known as the yellow shirts, piled into three buses headed to Bangkok this afternoon to join their PAD counterparts in protest.

The PAD will stage a mass rally in the capital tomorrow to protest the reconciliation bill and other bills designed to expunge post-coup court verdicts and offer general amnesty to people involved in the recent political conflict.

“We will all gather at the King Rama V Equestrian Monument at about 1pm, and then at 3pm we will proceed to the Parliament,” Phuket yellow-shirt coordinator Don Limnunthaphisit told the Phuket Gazette.

Mr Don said he was unsure how long the rally would be, but his supporters were prepared to stay in the capital for several days.

“I have not been told how many people are expected to join the rally, but I’m sure there will be lots of people from across the country,” he said.

Three separate reconciliation bills submitted by MPs from the ruling Pheu Thai Party – and one submitted by General Sonthi Boonyaratglin – will be raised for debate in the House of Representatives tomorrow, Deputy House Speaker Charoen Jankomol said yesterday.

The one bill submitted by Pheu Thai Party List MP Natthawut Saikua is supported by 74 Pheu Thai MPs, many of whom are linked to the red-shirt movement.

Mr Natthawut, currently a deputy agriculture minister, said his bill was similar to that submitted by Gen Sonthi, but his version includes a clause to exclude amnesty for people involved in terrorism and crimes that resulted in deaths.

The move by Pheu Thai to introduce the bills comes amid mounting criticism of the reconciliation bill proposed earlier by Gen Sonthi, the former coup leader who now chairs a House committee on national reconciliation.

The move is also widely believed to pave the way to allowing fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, elder brother to current PM Yingluck Shinawatra, to return to Thailand.

Additional reporting by The Nation.

— Chutharat Plerin

 

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