Southern Banners Denounce New 'Redshirt' Governor

The text reads: "Citizens of Muang Khon [nickname of Nakhon Si Thammarat province] do not want a Redshirt governor" [Photo:Matichon]

NAKHON SI THAMMARAT—Soldiers have removed mysterious banners hung in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat that accused the newly appointed governor of being allied to the Redshirt movement.

The banners appeared in major intersections and roads in the province this morning. Witnesses said they were hung by a group of "men in black" who arrived in pick-up trucks and motorcycles. 

"Citizens of Muang Khon [nickname of Nakhon Si Thammarat province] do not want a Redshirt governor," the banners proclaimed. 

Pirasak Hinmuangkao, who served as director of Land Department under the previous government, was recently appointed by the Cabinet as governor of the southern province, replacing Apinan Suethanuwong. His term is due to begin on October 1.


Over 30 soldiers were later dispatched by 4th Region Army to remove all of the banners. Political protests of all kinds are banned by Thailand's military junta, which seized power in a coup d'etat on 22 May.

Thailand’s political sphere is generally divided along the RedshirtYellowshirt faultline; northern and northeastern Thailand is considered a stronghold of the Redshirt movement, while Bangkok and the southern provinces, including Nakhon Si Thammarat, are home to many Yellowshirt supporters.

Speaking to Matichon today, Mr. Pirasak said he believes the banners were the work of "ill-intentioned individuals" looking to discredit him.

"I am very uncomfortable because I didn't do anything wrong," Mr. Pirasak said, "I insist that I am not a Redshirt as accused, and I have never meddled with politics. I am a professional bureaucrat."

He added, "I hope the people in the province will understand me."


Mr. Pirasak was also a target of rumours earlier this year during the six month protest campaign that sought to oust the Redshirt-allied government eventually toppled in the coup. The rumour claimed that Mr. Pirasak ordered a floodgate to open and obstruct Petchkasem Road in an attempt to prevent southern Thais from joining the protests in Bangkok. 

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