As red-shirt supporters of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra still worry about a possible military coup against Thaksin’s sister, current prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, they have decided to voice their opposition to it. So a massive anti-coup rally called ‘Stop the Coup, Change the Charter‘ is currently under way in Khao Yai, in one of Thailand’s biggest national parks.
The rally began yesterday with most red-shirts staying overnight in a huge tent city. It’s included political speeches from Pheu Thai MPs, and music in an ‘anti-coup’ concert, and will feature a live speech from Thaksin Shinawatra via video-link at 9pm tonight.
Thaksin, of course, is living in exile outside Thailand, so any speeches he gives have to be via video-link, but that hasn’t stopped him giving one every few months, and his supporters lap it up.
The charter the red shirts want to have changed is the same one that was drafted in 2007 by the military junta, aftertheir coup that resulted in the ousting of Thaksin. When drafting it, they made it illegal to criticize the charter draft and then forced its implementation through by saying they wouldn’t step down if the charter wasn’t passed (this is what passes for ‘democracy’ in Thailand – nothing but a joke, isn’t it!)
Of course, it being Thailand’s 576th charter in the last 20 years or at least that’s what it feels like) it’s just as temporary as all the others and probably won’t be in place in a couple of years. The red shirts however would like to see that happen sooner rather than later. You can’t really blame them.