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Bangkok Rajamangala National Stadium

Confrontation ahead?

Reinhard Hohler, eTN Ambassador  Nov 01, 2008

( - The atmosphere at the Bangkok’s Rajamangala National Stadium on Saturday is lively, as many people across the country continually stream into the venue to join the pro-government demonstration.

Supporters of the United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) from different provinces such as Samut Prakan, Chiang Mai, and Phetchabun travel to the stadium, causing heavy traffic congestion on Ramkhamhaeng Road. At the same time, street vendors around the venue are selling them red shirts and plastic foot-clappers.

During the "Truth Today" mobile political talk show, UDD core members are taking turns making speeches in defense of the government while condemning the actions carried out by the anti-government People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD). However, the main highlight of the show will be deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s phone call, which will be aired at the stadium at around 8 pm.

Police forces have reinforced security arrangements around the stadium to prevent clashes between demonstrators of the UDD and the PAD throughout the day.

The Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police, Pol. Gen Patcharawat Wongsuwan, said that police have coordinated with the Royal Thai Army to help tighten security around the venue. He affirmed the gathering will be held in a peaceful manner, no violence would take place.

PAD coordinator Suriyasai Katasila insisted the anti-government group will stay at Government House on Saturday and will not confront with the UDD supporters.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister and Defense Minister Somchai Wongsawat quietly took a flight to Chiang Mai province on Friday. He is expected to return to Bangkok on Saturday.

Confrontation ahead?
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