File Photo
File Photo

Red-shirt leader insists press conference going ahead today

politics September 14, 2017 13:53

By The Nation

2,048 Viewed

The red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) insisted that it would hold its press conference on Thursday regarding its bid to seek justice for the victims of the 2010 crackdown, and said it was not a political movement.



Nattawut Saikua, a key leader of the group, said he could understand the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)’s concern, but the press conference was an exercise of citizen rights.

The UDD, however, had no opposition to officers observing the event, he said.

He had always given cooperation to the NCPO, Nattawut said. Every time he had said an event would not be political, he kept his word, he said.

Meanwhile, Army Chief General Chalermchai Sitthisat said on Thursday that the event could be allowed if it did not involve politics.

Another UDD leader, Tida Thavornseth, told The Nation that the group insists on holding the news conference. It had not been contacted directly by the NCPO to stop it, she added.

As of press time Tida said she had not seen any officers around the venue, Imperial World Lat Phrao. But she believed they would come in plainclothes as usual.

The note came after the NCPO on Wednesday warned the activity could be banned if it were deemed to be political. The country remained under a ban on political gatherings for the sake of peace and order, an NCPO spokesman said.

The UDD would explain at the news conference how it would redeem justice for those killed in the bloody crackdown in 2010, said Nattawut. The group would not implicate anyone or be provocative to cause disorder, he said.

On the contrary, the red-shirt leader said the press conference would be an opportunity to create understanding as well as reduce the pressure building among some of the people interested in the issue, as it showed there were still legal channels for them to find justice.

The response to the 2010 crackdown would be left to judicial proceedings, Nattawut said.

There would be no movement activity, he said. Signature gathering would be kicked off after the election, he added, referring to the group’s threat to remove the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) if the agency failed to take the case forward. The NACC has authority to investigate and bring the accused to court.

Nattawut stressed that justice was valued by people throughout the nation, and said he believed involved agencies would understand.

The yellow-shirts were recently allowed to exercise their right to meet and hold a press conference after the case related to the crackdown on its supporters was dismissed, Nattawut said.

He was not asking for more than was deserved, the red-shirt leader said, but only hoped that he would not be restricted when he did everything according the law.

Meanwhile, Army Chief General Chalermchai Sitthisat said on Thursday that the event could be allowed if it did not involve politics.

Another UDD leader, Tida Thavornseth, told The Nation that the group insists on holding the news conference. It had not been contacted directly by the NCPO to stop it, she added.

As of press time Tida said she had not seen any officers around the venue, Imperial World Lat Phrao. But she believed they would come in plainclothes as usual.

Most view