Redshirts offer Chiang Mai as alternative capital for Yingluck govt
February 19, 2014 00:00
The Yingluck caretaker government could move to Chiang Mai if it finds it impossible to work in Bangkok because of anti-government protests, a redshirt leader in the north said on Wednesday.
Petchawat Wattanapongsirikul, who is also an adviser to the social development minister, said the redshirt movement in the northern region was closely monitoring the anti-government rallies in Bangkok. “If the government is unable to work in Bangkok, Chiang Mai is ready to serve as the new headquarters for it. It has venues and personnel to take care the government. We could deploy 5,000 to 6,000 guards to provide security for the cabinet members,” he said. The anti-government protesters have an absolute right to do anything that is under the democratic system. However, if the rallies caused trouble for the government and the country, this would be illegal and considered as destroying democracy, he added. Meanwhile Apichart Insorn, a red movement leader in the northern capital, said red members in Chiang Mai and Lamphun were ready to support the government. If there were any rallies against the government, his group would go out and stop them, just as they did to the rallies on January 16. Apichart said he would like to reiterate that any activities that go against Yingluck government could not occur in Chiang Mai. Krissanapong Prombuengrum, a core leader of Love Chiang Mai 51 group meanwhile, offered Chiang Mai as alternative capital for Yingluck government if there is chaos in Bangkok. The province has a convention and exhibition centre that could handle the meetings of cabinets and government authorities. The red shirts could work together with police to provide security for the prime minister and the government, he said, adding that no one would interfere and make trouble for the government.