The “Peoples’ Alliance for Democracy” (PAD), also known as the yellow shirts, has given the government a seven-day-ultimatum to crack down on the red shirts or else they would take matters into their own hands.
The yellow shirts have been mostly quiet during the anti-government protests of the red shirts, apart from a few statements. But now it seems that they have enough standing at the sidelines and watching the situation between the government and the red shirts go nowhere.
According to an article by AFP, the threat sounds like this:
“In seven days we hope that the government will deal with the terrorists from Thaksin immediately, otherwise we will show our voice to protect the country and the royal family,” said Parnthep Pourpongpan, a spokesman for the Yellow group formally known as the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD).
The Yellows are calling on the Reds “to value their own lives by not making any untrue statements saying that the government killed the people,” Parnthep told AFP.
“The Red Shirts should save their lives by stopping the rally,” he said, adding that the PAD’s actions would be “according to the constitution”.
“Thai govt given ultimatum by ‘Yellow Shirt’ allies“, AFP, April 18, 2010
So what does “according to the constitution” mean? I cannot possibly imagine that the encounter between the two fractions would remain peaceful – it never has been peaceful!
Another PAD quote:
PAD leader Chamlong Srimuang said: “Be prepared for a big and long rally. We will not disperse if the nation and the [royal] institution are still in danger.
“Decide for yourself if you will join the fight. And I am sure if the government cannot do anything in seven days, it will be our biggest rally ever.”
“Return of the yellow shirts“, Bangkok Post, April 19, 2010
Thanong Khanthong (yes, that guy!) fears the worst facing the possible outcome.
If the Yellow Shirts do actually come out, we’ll witness a Civil War. In that event, Thais from all colours will come out to kill each other because by that time they can’t differentiate who are their friends or foes.
The Yellow Shirts’ warning comes at a critical timing. They have watched the crisis situation develop to upheavals, with a breakdown of law and order and with a Killing War Zone at Khok Wua Intersection. The Abhisit government is getting weaker by the days as the military and police machines no longer function. (…)
Based on these factors, I expect that the Abhisit government must find a way to work with the security forces to take on the Red Shirts. This would also pre-empt the Yellow Shirts from coming out to confront the Red Shirts face to face, which would result in a full-scale Civil War.
“Its the turn of the Yellow Shirts“, by Thanong Khanthong, Nation Blogs April 18, 2010
So according to Thanong, there’ll be violence either way whether the government cracks down or the yellow shirts will counter protest? That would be a real quagmire!
The yellow shirts’ announcement coincides with anti-red shirts protests in Bangkok throughout the weekend. Reuters has this video report.
As a side note, there also has been a mini scandal involving The Nation and a picture where the crowed number has been allegedly multiplied with the help of photoshop. Even though The Nation insists the picture is untouched, looking at the provided hi-res version still leave me unconvinced.