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Threats force activist to quit protest

Taya fears for family after attacks

Core anti-government protest leader Taya Teepsuwan has announced she is taking a break from political activities following the bomb attacks on her Bangkok house and the shooting up of her mother's Khao Yai residence.

Taya made the announcement via Facebook yesterday, saying she will suspend protesting to protect her family and the students of her family's school.

Taya, a former Bangkok deputy governor, and her ex-Democrat MP husband Nataphol, also a core leader of the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), were among protesters who blew whistles at Khunying Potjaman Na Pombejra at Emporium shopping mall in Bangkok late last month.

Potjaman is the ex-wife of fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra. After the incident, Taya and Nataphol's Sukhumvit residence was targeted in two bomb attacks while more than 100 gunshots were fired at her mother's house in Nakhon Ratchasima.

Khunying Sasima Srivikorn was home when the early morning attack occurred but uninjured.

"The attacks in the past week using weapons of war took place at my mother's Khao Yai residence and at my house and there have also been a series of threats to Srivikorn School," Taya said.

"I'm very sorry for those who had to suffer the consequences of my activities. I'm very concerned for the safety of those people.

"After reviewing everything, I've decided to take responsibility by suspending my political activities. I hope that my decision will protect my mother and other people, particularly the students who may be harmed."

Taya later told reporters her husband would continue to protest.

She said she did not feel regret over abruptly suspending her protest because there were other people to take her place. After posting the message, Taya changed her cover photo and wrote: "If Plan A doesn't work, the alphabet has 25 more letters!!"

Sasima previously said she had contacted Potjaman and had scolded her daughter for harassing her.

Taya is the second PDRC leader to be affected by their political stance.

In December, another core leader Chitpas Kridakorn, known as the "Singha heiress" from the Boonrawd Brewery dynasty, changed her last name from Bhirombakdi to Kridakorn in order to pursue her political career and activities. The move came after Chitpas allegedly told foreign media that many Thais lacked a true understanding of democracy, especially in rural areas.

The remark had a negative impact on her family's business and the personal lives of family members, her uncle, Boonrawd Brewery president Santi Bhirombhakdi, said.

Santi sent a letter to Chitpas's father Chutinant reprimanding him over Chitpas' political role.


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