Red shirt hardliner seeks 600,000 men

Deputy secretary-general to the prime minister and red-shirt leader Suporn Attawong on Thursday announced plans to recruit 600,000 young men to join the new pro-government Democracy Protection Volunteers Group this year, a move that raises concerns about the possibility of the country descending into civil war.

Mr Suporn was speaking at a press conference held at a hotel in Nakhon Ratchasima's Muang district to announce the establishment of the volunteers group in 20 northeastern provinces. He was accompanied by more than 20 volunteer leaders and supporters from provinces in the Northeast. 

The volunteers group was needed, he said, because a particular group of people and a political party were attempting to overthrow the constitutional monarchy by proposing the setting up of a “people's council'' and topple the elected government by blockading roads and government offices. 

The key leader of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) was apparently referring to the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) and the Democrat Party. 

Given that the group’s political movement would destroy democracy and people’s power and, if successful, could lead to civil war, Mr Suporn said the founding of the volunteer force was necessary to protect the constitutional monarchy  

Mr Suporn said applications for volunteers would be open in the 20 northeastern provinces from this Saturday, March 1 and he expected at least 200,000 people would enroll within a month. 

The group was looking for healthy men aged between 18 and 25 who were willing to fight together and sacrifice their lives to uphold ideology.

All volunteers would receive “tactical training” for a month, he said without elaborating. 

The movement had invited Gen Panlop Pinmanee, the former deputy chief of the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc), to be its adviser. 

The hardline UDD co-leader expected 600,000 like-minded young men from across the country to join the volunteer force later this year. 

Army commander Prayuth Chan-ocha on Tuesday warned there is a chance of ''civil war'' erupting if the parties involved in the political crisis do not respect the rules.

An army source said Gen Prayuth had asked caretaker premier Yingluck Shinawatra to persuade the UDD not to bring protesters to the capital to prevent a possible confrontation with the PDRC supporters. 

The UDD leaders in the Northeast have announced they will mobilise supporters in a “pro-democracy caravan” that will travel through four provinces on Saturday and Sunday. The four provinces are Udon Thani, Kalasin, Maha Sarakham and Khon Kaen.

Thanik Maseepitak, former Pheu Thai party list MP and UDD co-leader in the region, said he and other ex-Pheu Thai MPs from both the party-list and constituency systems would participate in the event.  

The demonstrators would not occupy any state agencies but only gather around provincial court buildings and offices of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) in the four provinces, Mr Thanik said. 

“The activity is a symbolic expression being held on the weekend so as not to affect the work of the authorities,” he added.Meanwhile, the commander of the Northeast-based 2nd Army Region, held talks with governors from provinces in the upper Northeast to ask them to monitor any attempts to instigate hatred among different political groups.Lt Gen Charnchai Puthong, in his capacity as director of the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) Region 2, said “the talks received good co-operation from the provincial governors who will discuss the matter and create mutual understanding with the people, especially over problems related to the use of war weapons to stir up disturbances”.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 28/02/2014 at 05:32 PM
Total agreement, but would Thai people, this so loving country, really want this sad end, to get into a civil war and to kill each other ? Buddhism Thai nation religion doesn't teach the voice of wisdom ? Too much bad things happened with one unbalanced, will Thai majority mass blindly follow this conduct line ?
Discussion 2 : 28/02/2014 at 08:02 AM
Nice pic of the Land of Smiles. This is, of course, the likely outcome of what Suthep and clan are doing. It's surprising that it took this long. Sad that both sides are so unwilling to sit down like adults and negotiate a plan. Suthep has yet to reveal anything to us. Maybe he doesn't have any real plans on than a civilian coup.
Discussion 3 : 28/02/2014 at 06:50 AM
The size of the entire Thai military is 551,000 Army Navy, air force.
Discussion 4 : 28/02/2014 at 06:39 AM
alaskaman should know that no shinawatr ever does anything wrong. Dikyydoo needs a knew thinking cap.
Discussion 5 : 28/02/2014 at 06:33 AM
If they were to protest like the PDRC no problem but why specify young fit men and add the words tactical training. This sounds more like army recruiting than preparing to demonstrate.
Discussion 6 : 28/02/2014 at 06:20 AM
How many of them can read?
Discussion 7 : 28/02/2014 at 05:59 AM
In my opinion the redshirts are dangerous.I went to the imigrationbuilding at Ladprao and got attacked by 10-15 redshirts.Had to get my 90 day stamp.The PT goverment must provide security at imigration offices and by the way . . . who owns that building ? Every single office on that floor was run by redshirts with big pictures of thaksin in the windows.Strange place to have an Imirgation office !
Discussion 8 : 28/02/2014 at 04:03 AM
Thaksin will do ANYTHING to keep the gravy train running.
Discussion 9 : 28/02/2014 at 01:18 AM
A reaction from the anti- PDRC people in Thailand that was expected. Why should just PDRC supporters have the right to express their discontent with the government on the streets of Bangkok? Why shouldn´t government supporters have the same right to express their discontent with PDRC on the streets of Bangkok? But the best solution is of course that PDRC leaves Bangkok and let people decide for themselves which party they think should govern the country.
Discussion 10 : 28/02/2014 at 01:02 AM
Sorry, but you should have said Suthep will start a civil war. I wish the silly man go home, let Abhisit and Yingluck hold some serious talks to move this country foreword.
Discussion 11 : 27/02/2014 at 11:59 PM
If the red can recruit their own army of 600,000 personnel, they will out number the Thai military by almost 2 times, and the police is on their side. The whole Royal Thai Armed Forces (including Army, Navy and Airforce ) is made of about 858,000 personnel. Get the picture?
Discussion 12 : 27/02/2014 at 10:51 PM
First red villages, now a militia. I do wish someone in the PT would read a history book. Nothing good will come of this.
Discussion 13 : 27/02/2014 at 10:13 PM
He will NEVER get them, The red shirt leadership pissed off the last bunch of guys they paid to attend the Red shirt riots last time by not paying them, Now they aren't paying the farmers the rice pledges they were promised. Those country guys are stupid, but they aren't that stupid!
Discussion 14 : 27/02/2014 at 10:10 PM
The man should be fired from the government, immediately.
Discussion 15 : 27/02/2014 at 10:05 PM
If the military doesn't step in now to remove this corrupt government there is going to a dramatic rise in the number of killed and injured.
Discussion 16 : 27/02/2014 at 10:05 PM
The heat is on. No wonder that the army dont dare to stage a coup.
Discussion 17 : 27/02/2014 at 09:57 PM
It's funny that the media has just picked up on this. There have been provincial groups forming for months some as large as battalion size. 600,000 is not an unreasonable number to reach to reach.
Discussion 18 : 27/02/2014 at 09:24 PM
Some of these deeply uneducated little pawns.. such as this loser and jataporn and nattawut seem to have made a lot of money from their trouble making. I wonder who is paying these idiots? Sad to see people selling their country for money.
Discussion 19 : 27/02/2014 at 09:21 PM
It will be a very sad day if civil war starts I hope Thailand does get that bad
Discussion 20 : 27/02/2014 at 09:20 PM
Absolutely ridiculous. Never read such utter rubbish in all my life.
Discussion 21 : 27/02/2014 at 09:16 PM
I would say this is far more of a threat to overthrow the democratic system, a private vigilante army headed by someone who is part of the present democratically elected govt, it's getting more surreal by the day. I see in another story 60 billion has been siphoned off, add in those paramilitary training camps in Cambodia, and it's starts to add up
Discussion 22 : 27/02/2014 at 09:13 PM
Is this government a terrorist organization?
Discussion 23 : 27/02/2014 at 09:13 PM
What a scary picture, but I do really hope that the civil war will not happen not for any cause. A beautiful country is sinking into the sea of hatred. There must be a way out of this before it will be too late. God safe Thailand.
Discussion 24 : 27/02/2014 at 09:13 PM
Thaksin will go down in history for starting a civil war. I guess as long as he is in Dubai hiding from his prison term he is safe.
Discussion 25 : 27/02/2014 at 08:39 PM
Wow. What an intelligent response to the ongoing problem. What's more he is the Deputy Secretary General to the PM. YS chose well when she appointed Khun Suporn to her staff. Well done PM!!!
Discussion 26 : 27/02/2014 at 08:38 PM
Who is going to put up the money to equip them, feed them and house them? The farmers, no money, Thaksin, you better believe it.

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