Mixed reactions on civil disobedience

Reactions to the anti-government protest leader Suthep Thuagsuban’s call for a 3-day civil disobedience, starting today, were mixed with businesses, state universities, state enterprise unions saying they would not observe but would not mind if employees or union members wanting to join the call.

Suthep said last night he also did not anticipate strong support for the call for civil disobedience and made clear that it was merely a step by step measure to put pressure on the government to permanently “kill” the controversial amnesty bill.

He said that people could participate in the civil disobedience by just displaying national flags at their homes, hanging whistles around their necks and blow them immediately they encounter the prime minister and her cabinet ministers, work strike and delay their tax payment.

He also made clear that he did not call businesses to halt their tax payment but merely wanted them to delay payment.

The three-day civil disobedience would be assessed on a daily basis until Friday, the  last day of the 3-day disobedience, he said and he would raise the matte with supporters at the rally again of what to do next.

Protesters rallying at the Democracy Monument dropped to a few hundreds   this morning but was expected to swell again after office hours.

State and private university such as Thammasat, Srinakharinwirot, Bangkok , Rangsit, Silpakorn, Chulalongkorn also reacted coolly to the call, They issued statements saying they would not observe the civil disobedience call as they have the duty to perform as a university.  However if students wanting to join the strike, they have the right to do so.

The Federation of Thai Industries chairman Payungsak Chartsuthipol also made clear that the 3-day civil disobedience campaign would  damaged the country’s economy, and  erode confidence of the country.

He said FTI supported anti-corruption campaign but not the call to withhold tax payment.

The State Enterprises Workers’ Relations Confederation also announced not to observe the civil disobedience by going on strikes as the people would be affected if power, water and transport services were cut.

However it said that each state enterprise of the confederation has been advised to consider its own action on how to voice opposition to the amnesty bill.

It said also that state enterprise employees could take leave during the 3-day civil disobedience in accordance with their rights and join the protest.

State railway union has also made clear today train services would be normal and workers  would not go on strike.