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Reds 'would fight any move to oust premier'

More than 1,000 red shirts in Buri Ram rally in support of the government yesterday. They also ripped up pieces of paper as a symbol of protest against the proposals made by the anti-government People

More than 1,000 red shirts in Buri Ram rally in support of the government yesterday. They also ripped up pieces of paper as a symbol of protest against the proposals made by the anti-government People

The red shirts are ready to oppose any unconstitutional move to overthrow Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra by the military or other means, red-shirt co-leader and Pheu Thai Party-list MP Weng Tojirakarn said.

However, Weng noted that the armed forces appeared to still be on the side of the government as of late yesterday.

The red-shirt United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) was watching events closely, Weng said, adding the protesters' ability to enter Government House and the Metropolitan Police Bureau yesterday was possible thanks to a decision by the government to avoid loss of life and to allow the protesters a "symbolic victory".

Police allowed them to enter the compound by opening the gate.

Weng insisted that only the lawn of Government House was occupied and that soldiers were still guarding all buildings in the compound from the inside. "Deputy Premier Pracha [Prom-nog] told me we don't want to kill people. Some [red shirts] were saddened or feel discouraged because of the taking over [of the buildings], but we say we do not want to kill people like what happened during the Abhisit Vejjajiva government. The other side also has bullets."

But Weng warned the Army to weigh things carefully. "I believe red shirts won't accept [a coup]."

Red Sunday group leader Sombat Boon-ngamanong saw things differently. He praised the armed forces for its restraint in not staging a coup so far, and said having army medics assist injured protesters was a positive sign.

"I'm happy with the role of the military this time and would like to commend them," said Sombat, who added that moves yesterday offered a solution to all sides without bloodshed.

A mediated dialogue to bring about reforms acceptable to all was needed. He believed that the premier would either resign or dissolve the House soon, but cautioned that any attempt to install an appointed prime minister on an interim basis may be opposed by red shirts.




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