Thursday, January 5, 2012

Jatuporn meets Suriyasai: Soft sparring

I just watched "Woody" getting Jatuporn Prompan (red-shirt leader) and Suriyasai Takasila (yellow-shirt core leader as well as green movement chief) on Channel 9. And it was refreshingly frank for both to shake hands to agree to disagree.

Could this be the first step (one of many, many) towards some genuine reconciliation on a bigger scale?

Jatuporn and Suriyasai were in fact working together when they were student activists. Jatuporn was at Ramkhamhaeng and Suriyasai was attached to Kasetsart. They were both campaigning against military dictatorship and were in fact members of the student movement that was instrumental in calling for elections.

But they split after Thaksin Shinawatra took power. The rest, as they say, is history.

While they were smiling and expressing nice, warm words for each other in the programme, moderated by Woody, the two did confirm their political positions that are still poles apart. Yes, it still centres on the man called Thaksin.

Suriyasai said if the Yingluck government continues to make Thaksin the core issue, it probably won't last long. It should in fact be pursuing the issues that had been highlighted during the Pheu Thai's election campaign.

Jatuporn insisted that the red shirts would continue to push for the fulfillment of the promises of fighting for democracy and equality. "Thaksin will get what the rest of the 64 million Thais get," he said.

Woody, who described the meeting as a "soft sparring," got the two to shake hands. And, as it appeared on television anyway, a good time was had by all.

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