thanathorn claims rally is victory for thai people - Thanathorn claims rally is victory for Thai people

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and Pannika Wanich, two key members of the Progressive Movement, visiting the rally site at Sanam Luang Saturday night.

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, a key figure of the Progressive Movement, tonight described the anti-government rally at Sanam Luang today as a victory for Thai people who are fighting for democracy.

He said the protesters have symbolically succeeded in turning Sanam Luang, a huge compound next to the Royal Grand Palace, into “people’s ground.”

Sanam Luang, meaning “royal ground,” is classified as a historical place and has been reserved largely for royal activities.

Thanathorn said the fact that the rally was held at Sanam Luang has a symbolic meaning that it’s now a public place.

“Today is the day of victory for the people that they are able to use Sanam Luang for the rally,” he said,

Thanathorn was speaking to reporters while visiting the rally site.  Thanathorn has been openly supportive of student protests against the government but did not take to the stage last night.

Thanathorn called on the people to “walk together” to fight for democracy which he said will be a long-drawn one.

The fiery politician who was stripped of his MP status last year blamed the military coup on September 19, 2006 as a root cause of the problems facing the country today.

“The past 14 years have been a failure for Thailand,” said Thanathorn, a fierce critic of the military.

He also described the current constitution which was drafted under the influence of the military as a chain that that needs to be destroyed if the country wants to move forward.

Thanathorn was leader of the Future Forward Party which was dissolved by the Constitution Court early this year.  The disbanding of the party is believed to be a major factor triggering the ongoing student protests.

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