- Title: THAILAND: Red shirts gather in Thai shopping square
- Date: 20th December 2010
- Summary: PHOTO OF RED SHIRTS VICTIM KILLED IN THE TEMPLE
- Embargoed: 4th January 2011 12:00
- Location: Thailand, Thailand
- Country: Thailand
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAD5HLO1DG2E1VNPJ13M83KR0JT
- Story Text: Thousands of anti-government "red shirts" protesters gathered in peaceful demonstration in a shopping square in Bangkok on Sunday (December 19).
Protesters tied red paper pigeons on strings onto a net running across the business district intersection. Traffic was blocked off for at least two hours.
Jatuporn Promphan, leader of United Front for Democracy (UDD), a member opposition party, joined the demonstrators, representing detained red shirt's leaders who are either detained or are on the run after the May 19 crackdown.
Promphan is on bail under a privilege of the member of house representative and is the only top leader to still be active in movements - mainly campaigning for the release of colleagues in detention.
Earlier in the week, Thad Thavornseth the wife of Weng Tochirakan, a senior UDD leader, met with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva at a closed session. It's believed the meeting touched upon the possibility of granting bail to her husband and other detainees.
About 400 red shirts leaders and supporters are still under detention, including 19 who are facing terrorism charges. The rest are being held for violating an emergency decree.
Detainees were taken in following a spate of violent clashes between protesters and troops between April 10 and May 19, in which 91 people were killed and more than 1800 people injured.
On Sunday, protesters moved from the shopping square hub to the nearby Wat Pathumwanaram temple, where on the morning of May 19 Red Shirts took refuge for a night after the crackdown began.
Protesters lit red candles in the temple in tribute to their colleagues, particularly the ones killed in the compound on May 19.
Promphan said the red shirts would not cease their campaigning.
"We will not offer to stop gathering for the release of our detained friends. Our friends in jail are also of the consensus that they would rather still be jailed than the condition that Red Shirts stop activities in exchange for their freedom," he said.
The gathering on Sunday was held especially to commemorate those who were killed on May 19 - where 6 people were killed in the Wat Pathumwanaram temple.
At least 90 people including some officials were killed between April 10 and May 19 amid deadly violence.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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