Thai opposition likely to be eliminated before election, say leaders

UDD chairman Jatuporn Prompan (in sunglasses) posts for photo with other red-shirt leaders in front of the Pattaya prison Wednesday when they visit jailed leaders.
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Red-shirt leaders will probably be killed or jailed, key leader Jatuporn Prompan said on Wednesday.

Such a conclusion was based on his political experiences over the past decade, said Jatuporn, chairman of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD).

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“After working with the UDD in our political fight over the past 10 years, I am well aware of our destiny. Finally, we have two choices – getting killed or being put in jail,” he said.

Jatuporn, who has been released on bail during a trial on terrorism charges, joined a large group of red-shirt leaders and supporters visiting 13 UDD figures detained at a remand prison in Chon Buri in connection with the disruption of the Asean Summit in 2009.

On Tuesday, the Pattaya Provincial Court delivered the Appeal Court verdict against Arisman Pongruangrong, Nisit Sinthuprai, Payap Panket, Worachai Hema and other red-shirt leaders convicted of leading thousands of red-shirt protesters into the summit venue. The 13 red-shirt leaders were each sentenced to four years’ imprisonment.

At the time, government leaders from Asean countries were about to meet with dialogue partners at the Royal Cliff Beach Hotel in Pattaya. The break-in resulted in the meeting being cancelled and the participants being evacuated in dramatic fashion.

The Appeal Court in effect upheld the ruling by a lower court in March 2015.

On Wednesday, more than 50 people went to visit the detained red-shirt leaders at the Pattaya Remand Prison, also known as Nong Pla Lai prison, in Chon Buri’s Bang Lamung district. The visitors included family members and red-shirt leaders, including Jatuporn, Nuttawut Saikuar, Weng Tojirakarn and Thida Thawornseth.

The visit lasted about half an hour, after which the red-shirt leaders talked to the media.

-The Nation

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