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Phuketians march in support of prime minister

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET TOWN: Around 200 Phuketians and members of the Phuket People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) took to the streets on March 31, voicing their objections to the red-shirted United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) rally in Bangkok.

The crowd marched from Queen Sirikit park to Phuket Provincial Hall waving banners and parading a huge national flag.

In a show of support for Prime Minister Abhist Vejjajiva, Phuket PAD spokesman Somnuk Tuito said the UDD’s demands that the PM dissolve the House are not reasonable.

He said this tactic serves only former PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s needs, and not those of Thailand.

The dissolution of the House would have a negative effect on the country’s economic development, which is now on the rise, he said.

The marchers expressed their concern that the UDD demonstrations also bring violence to the streets of Bangkok, among some other northern provinces, which give Thailand a bad reputation.

When the protesters arrived at Phuket Provincial Hall, Mr Somnuk read a statement with four demands:

1) Since dissolution of the House in response to UDD demands will not solve Thai people’s problems. The government should urgently focus on solutions to economic, environmental, health and drought related problems. It should also seek to end the crisis in the southern border provinces.

2) Bomb suspects and whoever else was behind the recent bombings in Bangkok must face justice soon to regain the trust of Thais and non-Thais alike. Police and military organizations should strictly adhere to and apply the law.

3) State-run communications should report the facts about Thaksin and should be sure to avoid broadcasting any information that may lead to violence.

4) UDD members should protest peacefully and think more about people’s rights and the goodwill of the nation.

After reading the statement, Mr Somnuk handed it to Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop, who will present it to PM Abhisit.

The crowd also lit white candles as a symbol of peace and sang the Royal Anthem before dispersing.

— Gazette Reporters


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