Chiang Mai reds to cease activities

Petcharawat Wattanapongsirikul, leader of the red-shirt Rak Chiang Mai 51 group, declared on Monday he would ask red-shirt leaders in eight northern provinces to suspend activities and wait and see what direction the National Council for Peace and Order's (NCPO) reform roadmap leads to, according to a Spring News cable TV report.

Mr Phetcharawat reported to the NCPO on May 30, after being summoned, and was released on June 6.

He believed the red-shirts would understand the NCPO's intentions to reform the country, to ensure justice and reduce social disparities.

An election should be held no later than one year from now, he said.

At the Waroros Grand Palace Hotel in Chiang Mai, a large picture of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and Mr Petcharawat, which was fixed on the wall behind the reception counter, has been removed.

In its place is a picture of Mr Petcharawat and his family members.

In Nakhon Ratchasima, Sompote Prasartthai, a former red-shirt leader, reportedly met with members of red-shirt leaders in the province asking them to bring network members to take part in a reconciliation function at the Chalerm Phra Kiat sports stadium on June 11.

The gathering for reconciliation would also be attended by supporters of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) and United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) from all 32 districts of the province.

Mr Sompote said many red-shirts initially rejected the NCPO's takeover of the country.  After they and pro-PDRC core members were invited to meet 2nd Army leaders for talks they realised the military was sincere in wanting to solve the country's problems.

In Suphan Buri, Lt Col Setthawut Ammuang, chief of civil affairs of the Internal Security Operations Command's  Suphan Buri office, said Maj Gen Tiamsak Sukhanuyuth, UDD chairman of nine central provinces, and other UDD leaders had called on Maj Gen Sithi Piyasonthi, deputy chief of the Suphan Buri Isoc office, to state their intention of ending political activities which might obstruct the work of the NCPO.

Maj Gen Tiamsak had also resigned as UDD chairman of Suphan Buri and nine central provinces.

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