Peaceful, symbolic activities by Thailand's red-shirts

20:03, August 16, 2010      

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Bangkok on Sunday saw a gathering by the anti-government red-shirts again, more than two months after the blood-shedding rally from March 14 to May 19 -- only this time it was just like a picnic.

On Sunday evening, about 500 red-shirts gathered at Rot Fai Park, a public park adjacent to Bangkok's biggest Sunday market. They brought their own mats, food and drinks, sitting in small groups, chatting on politics and enjoying their meal.

It was the seventh gathering on Sunday that organized by "Red Sunday" movement, led by Sombat Boonngamanong. The gathering also included someone lying still on the ground commemorating the red- shirts killed during the army's dispersal operation in May.

Supporters of Red Sunday will gather again next Sunday in Chiang Mai, center of northern Thailand, in a peaceful way like this, said Sombat.

The forms and themes of activities varied from gathering to gathering. After two Sundays of tying red ribbon at Rajprasong Intersection, the group on July 25 moved to Lumpini Park to have "aerobic protest dance exercises" to the tune of red-shirt anthem. Sombat, a former mime artist, also performed a mime himself at the park to parody media censorship by the government.

Sean Boonpracong, foreign spokesman of United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), the main faction of Thailand 's red-shirts movement, said that he personally thinks the activities by Red Sunday are adorable, and that will benefit the red-shirt as a whole.

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