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 Udon Thani red shirts under watch

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PostSubject: Udon Thani red shirts under watch   Tue May 25, 2010 10:18 am


Writer: Anucha
Charoenpo
Position: Reporter
Published: 25/05/2010 at 12:00 AM

UDON THANI : Officials in this northeastern
province are monitoring red shirt supporters after their return from
Bangkok for fear they will hold another rally to oust the government.
"If the government fails to achieve the five-point road map for
reconciliation soon, I believe the red shirts will come back and grow
bigger to fight against the government," Udon Thani governor Amnart
Pakarat said yesterday.
Udon Thani is one of the main strongholds of the United Front for
Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD).
Mr Amnart said provincial authorities had launched a campaign to
inform red shirt supporters in the province why it was necessary for the
government to use force in last Wednesday's dispersal.
While the breaking up of the protest on Wednesday was under way in
Bangkok, about 3,000 red shirt protesters in Udon Thani were gathering
at Thung Si Muang in front of the provincial hall to protest against the
government.
The provincial hall and the Udon Thani municipality building were set
on fire, with the total damage estimated at 400 million baht.
Almost 1,000 soldiers remain stationed at important government
offices, shopping areas and some residential zones in the province.
"Life in the province has not yet returned to normal," Mr Amnart
said.
"Even though the situation seems peaceful, there is still an
underground movement of hard-core red shirt protesters in every tambon
and community who are ready to instigate violence at any time."
Mr Amnart said he was also concerned that red shirt leaders in the
province would use community radio stations to incite people against the
government. Five stations under detained UDD leader Kwanchai Praipana
have already been taken off the air.
Red shirt supporters here say the use of force to disperse protesters
had deepened the divide between authorities and UDD supporters in the
province.
Nitra Chorsungnoen, a red shirt supporter, said UDD members were
waiting for an election to be held.
Thongsuk Puthamma, another red shirt supporter, said: "I would join a
peaceful rally to restore democracy."
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