“The Coup is Not Over” – UDD, Robert Amsterdam
On Saturday, in torrential monsoon rains, thousands of Red Shirts gathered in Bangkok to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the 2006 military coup that illegally ousted Thailand’s democratically elected Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra.
Red Shirt leaders, Robert Amsterdam, and PM Thaksin (via a webcast) delivered a resounding message that the military coup is still in effect.
Amsterdam asserted that:
“The Coup is not over. This government is not free, nor can it be democratic when institutions in this country have a veto over its ability to function.”
In her speech at the rally, UDD Chairwoman, Thida Thavornseth argued that since 1932 there have been 18 military coups – that’s one coup almost every four years.
She also maintained that despite democratic elections in 2011, Thailand is still living under the conditions of a coup, the difference being that:
“Instead of the military, the judiciary is now the instrument of choice”
UDD leader Jatuporn Prompan also spoke to the crowd:
“In Thailand, a coup can happen at any time. This is not a true democracy, when people suffer and must stop working to protest, and must pay the price with their lives.”
He also reaffirmed the UDD’s commitment to a democratic Constitution, saying that:
“We must amend the Constitution so that everybody in the country has equal rights.”
One thing is for sure, the Red Shirts are dedicated to the cause. An estimated number of 8,000 Thais attended the rally which lasted for eleven hours on Saturday.