CHIANG RAI – People across Thailand have come out to voice their support for the upcoming general election as they believe election is the best way to solve differences under the democratic system.
In Chiang Rai, local groups and the Chiang Rai United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) were also holding candle-lighting activities in support of peace and an election, and to call on the Bangkok shutdown protesters to respect the law. The group then released flying lanterns to float away the nation’s troubles.
Over 400 students and members of the public on Friday gathered at Kasetsart University, Bang Khen Campus, for the candle-lighting activity. The participants expressed their disagreement with the PDRC’s plan to cause disturbances on Feb 2, while urging against all forms of violence. Some also held up placards inviting the public to vote.
Another similar event also took place at Srinakharinwirot University, with participants standing up for political equality and calling for the general election to be organized as a solution to the current conflict. In one of the activities, the students put together Post-it notes, onto which they expressed their opinions about the political unrest.
In the meantime, at Silpakorn University, students also lit candles digging their heels against violent demonstrations. There was also a petition-signing activity to collect names of those who wanted to see the election take place.
Lampang residents have in the meantime come together to show their disagreement with the current political protests in Bangkok and their support for the February 2 general elections by a mass candle lighting gathering. Those who participated stated that they supported peace, disagreed with any coup attempts by the military, and would like the country to return to its normal state.
In Phitsanulok, a number of people, dressed in white, showed up at the central train station in Muang District to light candles. The action was to show their determination to protect the country’s democracy, calling for the general election to go ahead on February 2nd as planned. The people also expressed their strong disagreement with the idea of military coup.
Donning white clothes, a group of people in Ayutthaya gathered in front of King Naresuan’s Monument to light candles in a bid to voice their disagreement to all forms of violence and their support to the general election. Similar event took place in Ayutthaya’s Phachi District, where around 500 villagers and tambon chiefs released white balloons in their call for unity and peace.
Last but not least, students from various schools assembled under the banner of ‘respect my future’ to conduct a candle-lighting activity on the pedestrian flyover in front of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce in Din Daeng. Although many of the students at the event were not of voting age, they expressed support for the election. The group also called on the PDRC to respect the rights of others, explaining that the PDRC protests and road blocks had cost them increased travel time to school, and schools near the protest sites had to cancel classes frequently.