Recently, Suthep has upped his rhetoric and referred to the fact that the PDRC have sovereign power and will install a PM and a National Assembly. He made no reference to Section 7 and the Senate. See this morning’s post. On April 6, Thai Rath quoted former Democrat MP Nipit Intarasombut as warning the PDRC about Read more...
SUKHOTHAI, 24 April 2014: Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, earlier this week, with UNESCO on a project to develop local guide training at Sukhothai Historical Park. DASTA director, Nalik-atipak Saengsanit, said the MoU will support a Cultural Heritage Specialist Guide Training Programme in the form of a [...] Read more...
BANGKOK, 24 April 2014: Spice Up Your Business Agenda is the latest online marketing campaign cooked up by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau in collaboration with the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Visa International Asia Pacific. It offers special privileges and discounts on products and services for MICE travellers who participate in trade exhibitions [...] Read more...


Suthep's march at Asiatique calls for the last fight


Suthep's "meet 'n' greet" rally on Sunday, 20 April 2014. (source: fb.com/RatchadamnoenAvenue)


Suthep Thaugsuban meets his supporters at Asiatique the Riverfront on Sunday, 20 April (source: fb.com/RatchadamnoenAvenue)

People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) supporters led by Suthep Thaugsuban marched from their main protest site at Lumpini Park to an open-air mall, Asiatique the Riverfront, on Charoen Krung Road last Sunday (20 April) to call on Bangkokians to join their next major “final rally”.

 
The PDRC's Facebook page showcases pictures of donors waiting in front of the mall to meet with "Uncle Kamnan" (subdistrict headman), another given name to Suthep. 
 
Speaking in the evening at Lumpini Park after the daytime march, the secretary-general of the PDRC said "Today's tremendous showing demonstrated the people's resolve to reform Thailand before the next elections, and to purify our electoral system to ensure true democracy in our country. I am certain that a clean and fair system will be established in our time." 
 
"The era of capitalist autocracy is over," Suthep added.
 
Suthep also announced that over the coming weekends he would lead PDRC supporters to visit more communities in the capital to personally meet and invite the public to join their “ultimate  fight against the regime.”
 
 
Grenade fired at high profile Ministry head and Suthep door-to-door meetings
 
On the same Sunday night (20 April), the Chaengwattana Road home of Dr.Narong Sahamethapat, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health, was hit by a 40 mm grenade, leaving holes in his parking area and a concrete wall, although no one was injured. 
 
Last week, Dr. Narong refused an order of the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO) that called for a meeting of the Permanent Secretaries of all Ministries at the Royal Police Club. 
 
Kittipong Kittiyarak, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice appeared at the meeting, but did not sign his name to register. Both Dr.Narong and Kittipong are two of the four Ministerial Permanent Secretaries who met Suthep at their offices during Suthep's door-to-door meetings in the week before the Songkran festival.
 
The other two who met Suthep were Chavalit Chookajorn, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and Gen. Nipat Thonglek, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence. They joined the CAPO meeting on 17 April.
 
Suthep's purpose in the meetings was to clarify with the chief civil servant of each Ministry that his proclamation of a "sovereign body" was just an assumption that has not yet happened.
 
But he said the PDRC will proclaim itself a "sovereign body" after the ruling of the Constitutional Court which could disqualify Yingluck Shinawatra from the premiership.
 
The charter court will rule on an abuse of power case against Yingluck soon but has not yet set the date for the ruling.  The case was submitted by 27 Senators who accused her of abusing power when she transferred National Security Council chief Thawil Pliensri in 2011.
 
Suthep also added that he will not be a "sovereign body" but it is the people who own such sovereign power and he will just act on their behalf and with their consent.
 
 
"Unarmed combat" training for red-shirt guards

Training programme for volunteer guards held by “Rambo Isan” in Nakhon Ratchasima Province. (source: Go6TV)
 
A red-shirt faction, the Democracy Protection Volunteers Group (DPVG), led by Suporn Atthawong, held its second volunteer guard training programme at a stadium in Nakhon Ratchasima Province on Sunday (20 April). He said the aim of the training was to protect the current government from all threats of a coup.
 
Viroon Phuensaen, former Deputy Commissioner General of the Royal Thai Police and a member of the Pheu Thai Party, chaired the opening ceremony.
 
The training included hand-to-hand/unarmed combat and lectures on politics. At least 5,000 participants from red-shirt provincial groups took part.
 
Suporn, also known by his followers as "Rambo Isan", said the trained volunteers will support and safeguard UDD red-shirt supporters. He said their opponent was not the PDRC but any kind of dictatorship.
 
Suporn previously held the first training programme on 4 April, one day before the UDD/red-shirt mass gathering in Bangkok on April 5-7, 2014.
 
 
Read more...
Police say they do not know identity or motive of attackers who killed Red Shirt poet Kamol Duangphasuk

A pro-government activist who opposed a law punishing critics of Thailand's monarchy has been shot dead in the capital, Bangkok.

Kamol Duangphasuk was shot by gunmen on a motorcycle in a restaurant car park. "At this point, we have no idea who the gunmen were or what the motive of the attack could be," police said.

Continue reading... Read more...
 
Mainueng K. Kunthee was the pen name of Kamol Duangphasuk, a prominent red-shirt poet and activist who was shot dead on Wednesday evening by unknown assailants
 
Born in Amphawa District of central Samut Songkhram Province, Kamol graduated from Silpakorn University’s Faculty of Education. Kamol loved writing poems. His poems were published in Matichon Weekly and a few other magazines in the 1990s. He made his living from a small restaurant, called the Duck Poet Society, serving duck dishes.
 
After the 2006 coup d’état, he appeared at anti-coup red-shirt rallies. He often gave speeches and read his poems, fiercely attacking the coup makers and the establishment. He was then known as the People’s Poet and the Red Shirt Poet. Several of his poems, composed during the anti-coup era, are still read today at red-shirt gatherings from time to time.. 
 
 
 
Kamol Duangphasuk, aka Mainueng K. Kunthee
 
 
After Nuamthong Phaiwan, a taxi driver who slammed his taxi into a military tank,committed suicide to protest against the coup, the red-shirt poet, along with other red activists managed to produce a statue of Nuamthong. The Nuamthong Phaiwan Memorial statue is placed at the spot where the taxi driver hanged himself.
 
Mainueng was very active with the red-shirt movement during the red-shirt demonstration in 2009 and 2010. Red-shirt sources said Mainueng joined a violent wing of the red shirts during the 2010 rally. After the crackdown on red-shirts in 2010, he started to fade away from the red-shirt stages because of credible safety concerns. Sources said he fled to Cambodia. 
 
He became politically active again when the controversial amnesty draft bills were put before the Lower House. Mainueng joined Suda Rangkupan, a red-shirt activist and former Chulalongkorn University lecturer, in supporting the blanket Amnesty Bill amid opposition from most of the red-shirts. They said getting the red-shirts political prisoners out of jail was their priority that made them compromised on the blanket bills.
 
The poet was also very active on the campaign against the Article 112 or the lèse majesté law and the right to bail of lèse majesté suspects and defendants. Suda and Mainueng were the leaders of the Declaration of Street Justice Group. Very active in 2012, the group organized a series of hunger strikes for the right to bail of lese majeste suspects/defendants and held a weekly seminar criticizing the Criminal Court on the footpath in front of the court compound.  
 
In 2003, under the administration of then Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Kamol was a committee member of Pan Wanfah Award, an award for political literature given by the Thai parliament. The committee members were composed mostly of red-shirt poets. The Award was criticized as biased toward the reds.  
 
Wat Walayangoon, also a well-known red shirt writer and poet, said Mainueng was popular for his direct poetic style which was direct and for voicing strong political messages. 
 
“When some red-shirt people in the provinces have events like monk ordaination or weddings, they always invited Mainueng to read poems to boost morale,” said Wat. “He was beloved by the red shirt people.”
 
 
Read more...
BANGKOK (AP) — Police in Thailand’s capital say a pro-government activist who opposed a law punishing critics of the monarchy has been shot dead. Police Col. Thanawat Watthanakul says Kamol Duangphasuk was shot by unidentified gunmen Wednesday in a restaurant parking lot in northern Bangkok. The victim, a poet also known as Mainueng Kor Khuntee, Read more...
BANGKOK, 23 April 2014: ‘Brand Thailand’ is on the ropes, reeling from a near-knockout blow dealt by the Bangkok Shutdown, with hotel occupancies down more than a third for Q1, 2014, a key tourism forum heard Tuesday. Over 400 leading executives in the travel and tourism industry packed the InterContinental Bangkok Grand Ballroom for the [...] Read more...
Since yard and car-boot sales are still not very common in this country, it had never occurred to Bangkok businessman Veerapong that he could sell all the junk cluttering up his house, items which he hadn’t used for years and probably never would again. Until the day his daughter pointed to a set of golf clubs that had been leaning against the wall in one room, untouched, for ages and suggested... Read more...
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