Opinion: Solidarity in opposition is our best chance of peaceful change

The emergence of Jatuporn Prompan’s Thai Mai Thon is a sign that different opposition groups are willing to put their differences on pause for the common objective of ousting the regime of Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha.

The new group has brought together some former members of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, the People’s Alliance for Democracy and the People’s Democratic Reform Committee.

The return of Nattawut Saikua and his Ousting Prayut campaign also shows that there is a way for the Red Shirts to work with the main student-led pro-democracy group, the Ratsadon, even though they might not agree on the push to reform the royal intuition.

The trend for cooperation is winning over even former opponents of the protestors.

“Your stupid management is making salims change their mind,” was what Tanat “Nat” Thanakitamnuay, former co-leader of the PRDC, wrote on a protest sign when he joined the car mob on Sunday.

The hiso who drove his Porsche into the crowd of Red Shirts in 2010 and said that he was just taking a joyride is now saying that it was an accident. It was lucky that no one was seriously injured.

He also said sorry for blowing his whistle to lead the PDRC’s call for a coup that eventually led Prayut into power in 2014.

I would not be surprised if he flips side again one day and many Red Shirts will never forgive him for what he has done and said in the past.

However, this is one of the examples of how this government’s mismanagements have led some to put aside their ideology so that they can get rid of Prayut and his government.

The coronavirus does not care which political side you are on, it can infect and kill you if you do not wear your mask, wash your hands and get vaccinated.

With the government failing to provide the people with effective vaccines and enough hospital beds while giving them more lockdowns and suppressions, more and more people will change their minds about the Prayut administration.

But the general is still confident that he can stay on regardless because of the Junta-drafted charter, the result of the election in 2019 and the royalists.

It is the latter who need to have their mind changed about Prayut if this regime is to go away without loss of lives. They have to stop seeing Prayut as the saviour of the royal institution, and see him as what he is: the saviour of himself and his friends.

All sides of the society will have to work together on this one or else the pro-military government will use the excuses of keeping peace and protecting the royal institution to use live rounds on protestors again.

The temporary unification of the people who are willing to put aside their differences to get rid of a tyrant, a solidarity last seen in October 1973, would be the only scale that could get rid of this deep-rooted regime.  

With anything less, the next thing we will see is more people going to jail and more blood on the streets.

Or, to save everyone time and avoiding a large gathering of people during the Covid pandemic, the last hope is that Prayut would show accountability, admit his failures and resign by himself.

One can hope, right?

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