The Red Shirts’ decision to postpone tomorrow’s rally was certainly not because the government had imposed a security curtain in Dusit area, as claimed by the protest leaders earlier.
The announcement sounds to me more like a “reluctant retreat” in the face of a number of uncertainties.
Thaksin Shinawatr did send the first signal of a pull-back when he talked on the phone to the local radio station in Udon Thani two days ago that he was “concerned about the safety” of the red-shirted protestors from the provinces. He suggested that the rally should be called off. The Red Shirts leaders said they would go ahead.
The other reason behind the retreat was probably the lack of a clear direction of what the rally wanted to achieve. Any sign of possible violence would repeat the disastrous “Songkran Incident.”
The open split between Jakrapob Penkair and the three core Red Shirted leaders has created a clear gulf within the ranks of the Red Shirt movement.
When the core leaders said they would postpone the rally to Sept 5 or Sept 12 or Sept 19 (third anniversary of the coup), it was clear that they weren’t sure what’s going to happen next.
Thaksin and his supporters are in temporary disarray, hoping to regroup and consolidate their position in the next few weeks.
PM won’t revoke security law
The government will not revoke the imposition of the Internal Security Act in Dusit district even though the red shirts had cancelled their planned mass anti-government rally on Sunday.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejajjiva insisted on Saturday afternoon that the security law will be further maintained to ensure peace and order.
The premier admitted that he had no idea why the leaders of the pro-Thaksin United front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) scrapped their anti-government rally plan.
Mr Abhisit also said he will call a meeting of the internal security units next week to discuss measures to control red shirt rally as UDD leaders said they would stage anti-government protest on September 5.
Bangkok Post, 29/08/2009