Protest leaders open to joining former red shirt leader but will not drop royal demands

Pro-democracy protester leaders told Thai Enquirer this week that the student-led movement have not yet to discussed whether or not it would join a rally called by Jatuporn Promphan, one of the leaders of the Red Shirts movement, on April 4.

“[We] consist of many groups. So I do not believe there is a problem for Jatuporn to call for the protest to oust Prayut on April 4,” said Tatchapong Gaedum, an anti-coup and Save-Bang Kloi activist.

“All I am asking is that there should be no division [between the groups],” he said.

Tatchapong said right now there are groups that only want Prayut to resign, groups that only want the amendment of the charter and groups that concentrate on the reform of the royal institution and all of them should be given space to express their opinion without being “blocked” or criticized for their demand.

Jatuporn has previously said that the current pro-democracy movement should concentrate on getting rid of Prayut and the amendment of the charter because demands to reform the institution have alienated many people who wished to join the movement but chose not to because they do not agree with the protests on reforming the monarchy.

Benjar Apun, a protest leader from the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration (UFTD) said the UFTD has yet to discuss about the possibility of joining Jatuporn’s rally on April 4 but she welcomed any protest to oust Prayut as it is one of the demands of the current pro-democracy movement.

“We will not interfere with what they are doing…but our goals are aligned, with or without the demand to reform the institution,” she said.

“However, the UFTD will continue to demand for the reformation of the royal institution and Jatuporn’s movement also do not have the right to interfere with this demand,” she said.

She said her group would consider joining the rally but would never drop their demands to reform the institution.

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