Sunday, 22 August 2010

With government controls relaxed, Red Shirt protests return to northern Thailand

Thailand's red shirt movement resume their anti-government activity in their stronghold province of Chiang Mai after the government lifts tight military control in the northern provinces.

CHIANG MAI, THAILAND (AUGUST 22, 2010) REUTERS - About three hundred members of Thai United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), gathered in Chiang Mai on Sunday (August 22) in an anti-government rally.
The demonstrators lay down on the ground and staged a theatrical play to mock the military who clamped down on red shirted protesters in Bangkok earlier in 2010.

Most of the demonstrator were women and elderly residents from Chiang Mai and the surrounding provinces.

They accuse Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his administration of ordering the Thai military to launch what became for Red Shirt supporters a bloody crackdown on demonstrations in Bangkok between March and May.

On August 16, the Thai cabinet lifted an emergency law which prevented protests in three red shirt strongholds in northern Thailand

The emergency decree has been in place since April, giving security forces broad power to deal with anti-government protests that spiraled into the worst political violence in modern Thai history and left 91 people dead and nearly 2,000 wounded.

It is still in force in Bangkok and six other provinces.