Sai Loh Fah: Democrat Party’s street protest group
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Sai Loh Fah: Democrat Party’s street protest group

Nick Nostitz blogging at New Mandala about the protests last week about the reconciliation bills and the Democrat Party’s gathering on the weekend. He blogs about a new development:

The real surprise of the day, and a completely new development in the ongoing conflict scenario, took place in front of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, where the Democrat Party held a rally with about 2000 protesters with the light blue headbands that appeared first a few days before under the Mulicolored on 30 May 2012. The new protest group is named “Sai Loh Fah” – the lightening rod. The Democrat Party has now made the transition into directly commanding their own street protest group. One of the party’s senior politicians explained to me the reasons for this change in strategy is that all media is closed to them now, that inside parliament they are not allowed to finish their speeches, and that they needed a channel to reach the people. Several Democrat MPs said that they intend to continue and build up this street protest group. Supporting this of course is their allied satellite TV station “Blue Sky TV”.

Nirmal Ghosh in the Strait Times:

Speaking to a crowd of 2,000 in Bangkok the same evening, former premier Abhisit Vejjajiva – whose Democrat Party lost last year’s general election – said the party would urge supporters to take to the streets in a movement called Sai Loh Fa, which translates as “lightning rod”.

 BP:  The Democrats were strongly allied with the PAD in 2006 until Abhisit became PM in December 2008, but then slowly over the next few years they drifted apart and were openly fighting last year – see this post for a summary. Now, with Reconciliation Bills and the constitutional amendments on the agenda, we saw that last week things had changed when Democrat Party secretary-general Chalermchai Sri-on stating that Democrat MPs could join the yellow shirt PAD’s rally outside parliament today, but having their own protest group gives the Democrat Party more control of street politics. Will they protest with the PAD?

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