Bangkok, the 19th of September 2010: Most of Sunday’s planned activities concluded by 6:00pm, with the majority of activists leaving the area before 8pm in a peaceful close to the highly anticipated anniversary celebrations.
Leading proponent of the Red Sunday group, Sombat Boonngamanong, announced the day’s activities as a success, brought forward to an earlier time slot than previously agreed due to the massive turnout of supports. Sombat led the demonstrators in the releasing of more than one thousand balloons, while the protesters sang and shouted no stage was erected for speakers to address the crowd.
Pol Maj-Gen Vichai Sangprapai, commander of Metropolitan Police Division 4 and Pol Maj-Gen Anucha Lekbumrung, commander of Metropolitan Police Division 6 with seven companies of officers have been standing by to control the situation at Ratchaprasong.
Maj-Gen Sangprapai declared the activities orderly, stating that the blocking of several parts of the traffic routes into the area was expected due to such a large gathering, with no reports of any violence emanating over the course of the day. Shopping malls in Ratchaprasong–including Siam Paragon, Siam Center, and the Siam Discovery department stores–closed earlier at 6pm Sunday as a precautionary measure.
Meanwhile, in the northern province of Chiang Mai, the other main venue of Red Shirt activities on Sunday, United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) leaders took it in turns to address the crowd from the Chiang Mai Municipality Stadium.
Activities wound down by the early evening, with a planned call-in by still fugitive Red Shirt leaders from this years April/May demonstrations was cancelled. Red Shirts also reportedly gathered in the northeastern province of Nong Khai and southern provinces of Nakhon Sri Thammarat and Songkhla.