Rally to attract '200,000 red-shirts'

NAKHON RATCHASIMA - At least 200,000 people will show up at Saturday's pro-government rally on Aksa Road in Bangkok's Phuthamonthon area, Anuwat Tinarat, core member of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), said on Thursday.

"At least 200,000 people from the northeastern provinces will travel to Aksa Road this Saturday. Each province will send  300 to 400 security guards and medical personnel to look after the red-shirt supporters' safety and well-being," Mr Anuwat said.

The number of people who will join the red-shirt rally this weekend will outnumber the number of anti-government protesters at the Lumpini rally site, he said.

The UDD core member said the objective of this rally is to show the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) that the majority of Thai people do not agree with the group's direction and ideology.

He said PDRC secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban's announcement that the PDRC will topple the caretaker government before the Songkran festival (April 13 - 16) was of no significance since he had repeatedly made similar calls and had not succeeded.

"People will join Saturday's rally to show that they cannot accept different independent agencies' effort to quickly remove caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her government," Mr Anuwat added.

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