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What next for Thailand?

11:52 UK time, Friday, 23 April 2010

Thailand's prime minister has threatened to retake a fortified encampment set up by anti-government protesters in the capital Bangkok. What's the way out of the conflict?

He has rejected an offer by "red-shirt" demonstrators to end protests if he dissolved parliament to hold elections.

The red-shirts said on Friday they wanted parliament dissolved within a month, a change from previous calls for immediate dissolution.

Are you in Bangkok? Have you witnessed the protests? What is the solution to the current deadlock? What will the implications be for the future of the country?

This debate has now been closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    What's the way out of the conflict?
    Elections, preferbly with independent monitoring because it's highly likely that the losing side will claim vote rigging.
    In the last election the majority of votes went to PPP; Democrat Party, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva can embrace populist policies, but he did NOT win the last election.
    The M79 explosions occurred in a business district of the city. Deputy Prime Minister, Suthep Thaugsuban said the explosions were caused by M79 grenades - launched from a southern corner of Bangkok's Lumpini Park, which is behind the red-shirts' main barricade. Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban told Si Lom Road people to stay away from the red-shirt people at the Lumpini Park.
    Si Lom road is a major financial center; it is the home to some of the largest companies in Thailand e.g. Bangkok Bank, as well as a number of insurance and securities firms; it is the "Wall Street of Thailand".
    Red-shirt leaders denied responsibility for the M79s, saying they were not in the business of hurting people. After red-shirted demonstrators vowed to continue their rallies, army chief Anupong Paojinda suggested that he was reluctant to use force to break the deadlock, saying a political solution must be found.
    The solution: dissolve the house – the sooner the better.
    Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva offered last month to hold elections by the end of 2010 - one year ahead of schedule - to end the stand-off, but protest leaders rejected the proposal. The government played down speculation it was ready to hold polls in October to defuse the crisis. The Red Shirts, who hail from mainly poor and rural areas of Thailand, insist they will not end their campaign until the government calls an immediate election and Mr. Abhisit stands down and leaves the country.
    Despite the deadly clashes, the Reds have vowed to continue their campaign in the capital until they bring down Mr. Abhisit, accusing his government of being illegitimate and elitist.

  • Comment number 4.

    Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said the explosions were caused by M79 grenades launched from a southern corner of Bangkok's Lumpini Park, which is behind the red-shirts' main barricade.

    ---

    How would Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban be in a position to know that the 40x46mm grenades were fired from an M79 grenade launcher when 40x46mm grenades can also be fired from an M203 (among others), which is also in use by Thailand?

  • Comment number 5.

    The noughties may come to be known as the decade when people demonstrated their lack of trust in democratic processes from the US all the way through so many other countries. This should cause discomfort for all politicians and the "orders" that shape our civilisations.

    Having lived a little while in Thailand and witnessed the charm, friendliness, and unique hospitality of the Thai people, it saddens me that they are saddled with such corruption in their political and commercial leadership. The writing was on the wall a very long time ago but I had always believed that the persuasive and effervescent nature of the average Thai would change the shape of their futures. It seems as if their enduring patience has finally run out.

  • Comment number 6.

    Solution : Decisive action against red-shirts.

    As a Thai, I advised you NOT to believe ANYTHING the reds said.

    Last Year, they stated that they'll accept the result of PM election. The very moment Abhisit was named PM, they assaulted the parliament. They claimed they will not use force. The next day, they stormed the ASEAN summit. I believe people still remember the violence in downtown Bangkok afterward, with red-shirts threatened to explode gas tanks.

    As for the incident on 10 April, arrested red-shirt core member Methi Amornwutthikul has admitted that protesters stole weapons from the army and fired at soldiers.

    Lastly, CCTV on BTS (the skytrain) station revealed that the M79 grenades were fired from Lumpini Park (behind the red-shirts' line) into Silom district.

  • Comment number 7.

    What next for Thailand? Happy days, wine and roses.

  • Comment number 8.

    I wonder if legislators no longer represent constituencies and by extension residents of those constituencies. Why wouldn’t the protesters speak at the parliament through the respective legislators they elected? That would be faster and very constitutional. If you think your legislators have been bought over, simply recall them. I’m sure the modalities have all been worked out in your constitution. Taking laws into your hands isn’t the best way. A popular saying in my country is ‘we only know the start of war, no one can tell the end.’ I’m sure a word is still enough for the wise.

  • Comment number 9.

    And I don't care.

  • Comment number 10.

    6. At 2:50pm on 23 Apr 2010, Serious-spam wrote:
    Lastly, CCTV on BTS (the skytrain) station revealed that the M79 grenades were fired from Lumpini Park (behind the red-shirts' line) into Silom district.

    ---

    Thank you for answering my question.
    If they were able to use CCTV to identify that an M79 Grenade Launcher was used to fire 40x46mm grenades, then that makes sense.

    Has the footage been made public? Has anyone seen it on the news?

  • Comment number 11.

    The Red Shirts want world publicity. The BBC is giving this to them. Seven weeks is ENOUGH. It is becoming boring.

  • Comment number 12.

    Well even if the 'red shirts' win, we will then have the 'yellow shirts' out next month, why don't they just split the country in two, its worked quite well for the two Koreas

  • Comment number 13.

    Thailand was relatively quiet and a paradise in the Orient, suddenly Thaksin has made sure that his money and motives are well known, he has paid and organized the poor into an uprising, this is going to create a rift in the society and expand into a full blown civil war. Those wearing red shirts and towels are being paid by some big forces, there is ample money being made by cutting timber in Burma and exporting it via Thailand, then there are the Army generals also in that business, Thaksin had his fingers in every form of corruption possible, he let the poor also make some money. Hopefully the King will put his foot down and start asking the people to use the vote instead of violence.

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    What on earth has it got to do with us what happens next in Thailand?

    They are big enough to sort their own problems out without the world police, ie. America and GB, wading in with their size tens.

    Simply put it is none of our business.

  • Comment number 16.

    Unfortunately I cannot see a "clean" end to this.

    Firstly we have the very real grievances of the poor from the farming regions, who have been exploited by the rich elite in Bangkok for years. The Thaksin administrations did a little, very little really for them, but it was a start. However Thaksin was, like many there terribly corrupt, involved in the ex judicial murders of 2-3000 people on the streets of the capital and of course a tax evader. Recently he even inflamed an already bad situation by offering his services to Cambodia.

    The differences in rich and poor there are as wide as the Pacific Ocean, with the arrogant rich literally getting away with murder, and using draconian "lese Majeste" laws to silence opposition, and to some extent free speech.

    Of course both sides here claim loyalty to HM the King, who I am sure would have "had a word" with the protagonists, were he in better health.

    The renowned Thai patience has run out by the looks of things, the poor have been terribly treated for too long and now seem to be taking matters into their own hands. I can even sense a reluctance amongst the soldiers to act, of course being conscripts none of their fathers is an MP, banker or member of the old boy network.

    Even if an election is called, one side will feel aggrieved and this cycle will repeat itself. Less Police and Military involvement in government, and of course dealing with corruption would help. Mind you we are discussing a country that runs on "tea money"




  • Comment number 17.

    The King should step in, as he is universally held in awe by the majority of Thais, & call a fair election. Otherwise, the monarchy should be scrapped.

  • Comment number 18.

    I watched the BBC news this morning. I'm glad that there is a chance of talks. Using harsh force to crak down the protesters only makes the situation worse. It will make the red-shirts go underground, and then violence will be hard to control. Even the yellow-shirts don't want that to happen.

    I think the best solution is to hold a new election within 3 months under observation of the UN. I think 3 months is reasonable enough. We need to stop this crisis as soon as possible, and move on the normal life, finding the compromise from both sides. In the future Thai government need to raise awareness of Thai people to respect the constitution more. It is the highest law of the country that binds people together. Everyone must have a guaranttee to have freedom to speak or express all opinions without being fear of being putting in jail. Everyone must be in a postion that can be checked and in balance of power. No person, including the monarch, is in the postion of so much privileage that cannot be touched, that creates a bad example of using privileage in society. Who knows how bad the next king is going to be?

  • Comment number 19.

    When the army is at a tense stand-off with a determined band of red shirts. The conflict will see-saw according to the superior fire power but this is no way to resolve a simmering dispute. Rather the King should try to broker a solution as he is highly revered. Keeping Thaksin out of Thailand is no solution either as he has a large power base. Ultimately the people will have to decide the leaders they want via elections in a democratic, peaceful manner. Trying to rule by the barrel of the gun will only create more uncertainty and chaos. The army will have to be sent back to the barracks once the violence is quelled.

  • Comment number 20.

    One sees a very significant polarization of the urban affluent and those who aspire to be so, opposed to the rural agrarian poor; should elections be called due to the pressure exerted on the incumbent government by these demonstrations, the losing side will invariably protest either the result, the vote counting, the validity of votes obtained by irregular means, or all of the above. The vast discrepancies in thai society has to lead to a cataclysmic fault in the populace at some point, as it has done in more or less developed democracies or otherwise throughout the world and in modern history. Having lived in S E Asia for prolonged periods, this Hobson's Choice served up a genuine democracy would be risible if not so perniciously detrimental to the majority of Thais.
    There is also a significant racial and class fissure in thai society and I've often been shocked at Thais from Isaan (rural agrarian and red shirt) being referred to in the most derogatory terms one can imagine, and this by other Thais, ostensibly the sino-thai community.
    Of course, this is an over simplification of a complicated situation but one can be sure that violence will achieve nothing and an election similarly, very little; until administrations begin to spend government revenue on countrywide projects (as opposed to Bangkok only) with complete transparency of government revenues and expenditure, then very little positive change will be effected in Thailand.
    Thailand is a tolerant society generally but there are limits to what a people can tolerate ad infinitum, so possibly that point has been reached and the sanguinary nature of the protests is conclusive proof of that. Should a more equitable society emerge with a transparent government and genuine democratic improvement for the majority, then as in the history of all nations, a step in the right direction will have been made.

  • Comment number 21.

    God is punishing Thailand for the inhuman cruelty that they cause to REFUGEES.

    Example: Sending REFUGEE back to the ocean in boats without food and water, sending Hmong Refugee to the Communist Laos, mistreatment of Burma people.

    Nobody can stop GOD's wish and punishment.

  • Comment number 22.

    The M79 is a U.S.product used in the Vietnamese murdering days.
    The red shirts are funded probably by the CIA.
    I believe the unrest is caused by the U.S.and other Western intelligence to destabalise that region.Burma,cambodia,Laos and vietnam is also going to see history repeating itself in the near future.
    All this muscle flexing is geared towards China.

  • Comment number 23.

    Of course the police had everything to do with the grenades launching.I am amaze at how many website censure the material and as proven before causes vital information not to get out on time.

  • Comment number 24.

    The rural poor and urban underclass of thailand have legitimate greivances, but unfortunately they are being used by former pm thaksin to destabilize the government out of revenge for being ousted and convicted of corruption. Thaksin was corrupt to the core but he threw a few bones to the people while robbing the country blind, and so he gained himself a loyal following amongst the poor who had never been given anything by the government before. Thaksin is a charismatic sociopath (like most politicians) who ordered the killing of at least 2500 people (though the newspapers counted 4500 before being banned from printing death tolls) in the 'drug war' and he does not care how many poor thai people get killed in his revenge against the thai government. It is sad to me that poor thai people who sincerely want a say in their country are being used by one of the richest men in the world in a cynical and misleading campaign for "democracy". What thailand needs is real democracy but sadly the corruption goes so deep in thai culture that I don't think real democracy is possible, at least not with thaksin sending hundreds of millions of baht from dubai to buy votes for his party. I hope that the geniune goodness of people in thailand can overcome the deep divisions in their society.

  • Comment number 25.

    It seems to me the leaders of these underdeveloped countries whether in Asia,Africa or South and Central america are corrupt or forced to be corrupt by the Western govts mainly US so the Western govts can take advantage of them and exploit them and almost always these leaders have a safe haven either in UK,US,Saudia Arabia,South Africa,etc.
    From Benazir Bhutto,Baptiste,Aquino,Reza Shah,Fujimoro,Karzai,etc.
    What does that tell us?..the U.S.and other Western govts after exploiting them put them back into these govts as puppets and dictate to them.It's been going on for decades.Meanwhile the resources get stolen from these underdeveloped Nations and the puppets either end up in Surrey,England or CA,U.S.You all know what i'm talking about.

  • Comment number 26.

    Why do BBC editors fail to hold Ms Rachel Harvey's reporting on Thailand to the traditional BBC standard: honest, straightforward, unbiased, impartial, in-depth, ACCURATE reporting of facts based on actual research and confirmed by multiple sources?

    When did the BBC start evolving into Europe's version of the USA's FOX NEWS?

    BBC reports on Thailand have become simplistic opinion pieces.

    They fail to present all the facts to enable readers to draw their own conclusions and form their own opinions.

    Dear BBC editors, please do your job and edit Ms Harvey's personal agenda and clear bias out of her reports. Give us facts. Inform us.

    Her so-called reports and analysis on Thailand are among the most unprofessional and unfair I've seen of any BBC Southeast Asia correspondent during the past 37 years. To be fair, CNN's reports are no better.

    The situation in Thailand is extremely complex. Shirt colors are an insignificant reflection of sunlight off the tip of the iceberg.

    Is Ms Harvey truly clueless about what is really going on? Or does she simply lack the courage to speak the truth about the real issues and expose the competing Puppet Masters?

    Only when money cannot buy protests, only when money cannot buy votes, will Thailand's downhill slide since PM Chatchai be stopped.

    And only when news reporters do their job will the rest of the world understand Thailand.

  • Comment number 27.

    Islamic overthrow.

  • Comment number 28.

    Violence breeds new violence. What is going on in Thailand looks like a revolution, but it must not be allowed to grow into a revolution. The protesters standing behind the barricades and trying to defend their interests can hardly achieve anything without negotiations with the government. They have to start talks instead of shouting out their demands and throwing stones at the police.

    The two opposite sides should demonstrate their goodwill toward each other and their willingness to achieve some kind of compromise. Their task is to begin a new page in their country's history, and this task cannot be fulfilled without God's help.

    Before the conflict in Thailand is resolved, the best thing for the two conflicting sides to do is to pray to God. At least in God they can find unity which is important for a good start of talks. If they cannot settle their differences peacefully, they should ask God to do so. As for me, I pray to God to help them in everything they do for their country's future.

  • Comment number 29.

    I have great admiration for the courage of the "Red-Shirts." They have a strong commitment to democracy, and are strenuously opposed to the military intervention in the removal of a lawfully-elected leader. It is atrocious that people had to lose their lives in order to preserve democracy.

  • Comment number 30.

    Water cannon + bleach = pink shirts, much less aggressive...sweet

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    Sorry, but we have enough corruption here, never mind Thailand.

  • Comment number 33.

    The yellows maintain the reds should not have the right to vote.
    There you have it. The yellows are fascists and the reds are right to fight, fight, and fight again until they win.

  • Comment number 34.

    The issue of Thailand is like that of a wise saying in my native languag, LORMA. It says "when ever you get anything through the help of the WIND, for everytime the Wind blows, you have got to hold thight onto it". This is simply to say that the current government came to power by the same process, "popular up rising".
    The only way out of this issue is NOT by force, not by the guns, BUT by the Ballot Box. Those who have lost their lives are sons of Thailand and those current engage in the crisis are also from Thailand. Therefore I suggest that all people of Thailand converge on the Negotiating table instead. I just hope the current prime minister could see reasons and call for earlier elections so as to let all people have their say on how they wish to be governed. If and only if he is doing the right job, the people of Thailand will surely vote him back to power lawfully.

  • Comment number 35.

    .... I would like someone to explain to me what is the big game behind all these events... there has to be something else... US, China, India... there is something... I am sure... hehe..

  • Comment number 36.

    Chris wrote:
    "I'm surprised the Americans have not waded into the frey, in their usual aggressive Imperialistic manner...... oh yeh - NO OIL!!!!"

    And here we go again with the usual "sparkling" British intellect on display with the traditional "NO OIL" diatribe. Thailand not only has oil, but natural gas as well. And a British is talking about Imperialism? That's rich coming from a country that built the largest empire in history. Come in, pot! This is kettle. Color check, over!

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    Have seen in 18 years I live in BKK many governments coming and going,
    in the 90s with the democrats and Chuan Leekpai, this was a honest government,
    no vote buying, no cheating,

    then came all kind of cheaters and vote buyers, anyway, everybody can see what happened between 1997 and 2008,

    what's next for Thailand?

    2 scenarios

    1) the democrats stay on in government and get this country back on track

    2) the red win, Thaksin will be back and will be the next PM, the country will be split, the cheating and stealing will continue, also I fear that anarchy will continue and nobody will go to jail for all the dead protesters



  • Comment number 39.

    I would like to point out that not all the violence in Thailand is reported in foreign media. For example :

    - back in April 2009, red-shirt member shot dead two and injured eight in Nang Loeng district, and their crime was asking them not to use violence
    - about 30 bombing cases using grenade launcher and remote control bomb in the capitol
    - three (if I remember correctly) attempted sabotage of pylons in oder to cause complete blackout in Bangkok
    - damage done by red-shirts to the Democracy Monument (yet they claimed to be fighting for democracy...my foot!)

    These are just the tip of an iceburg. Bangkokians hatred justified.

    Elsewhere in the world politicians may be corrupted, but Thaksin is the man who is rotten to the core, so much that he is willing to destroy his country for his personal revenge (see his speech to the reds in April 2009)

  • Comment number 40.

    Holding new elections now can not help resolve the current deadlock in Thailand because alternate demonstrations between Red shirts and Yellow shirts will be occurred when one party is controlling the country. So what's the way out of the conflict? Constitutional reform is the best way to deal with the crisis at the moment. The new constitution allows the government to be more rights to suppress violent demonstrations, restoring order and lasting peace for the country in the future.

  • Comment number 41.

    Thailand politicians of different hue and colour are known for corruption. Years back I visited my friend who lives in Bangkok. He gave me to understand that corruption and bribery in government circles is rampant. That has not changed over the years. This is the bane of democracy. What one requires is a benevolent dictator but that would be far-fetched. The way out is the way in. The government should immediately dissolve the parliament and declare fresh elections. This will in a way help in restoring peace and order as the status quo has only encouraged the protestors to resort to the law of jungle.

  • Comment number 42.

    "Chris wrote:
    I'm surprised the Americans have not waded into the frey, in their usual aggressive Imperialistic manner...... oh yeh - NO OIL!!!! "

    If you bother to check the facts, we get more oil from Canada than any other countries. Ignorance is bliss isn’t it

  • Comment number 43.

    If indeed the Red Shirts are poor rural agrarian "Isaan" people of Thailand, then one must ask the person who has, for the past six weeks, financed their food and drinks, their lost income caused by absence from work, including even the public urinals for their men, to come forward and represent their cause peacefully. If indeed, this person is Thaksin himself, he should return to Thailand to face due process of law. Perhaps that's a more respectable way for him to vindicate himself.

  • Comment number 44.

    In South East Asia Thailand was a politically stable country for many years.The growth of its economy was staggering.But a conflict was brewing over the years becuse of social injustice to some section of people. Balanced growth was ignored.The corruption of its top political leadership accentuated the popular discontent further.The result was military coup and the overthrow of Thaksin Sinwatra government.Now, the redshirts are in rebellion against the democratically elected new government. It is a pity that the red shirts are desperate to reinstate the most corrupt leaders in power again.The city of Bangkok is in political firmament, and its once prosperous tourism industry is suffering heavily.
    The political parties should see reason and negotiate a peacful settlement failing which marial law again seems to be the answer to restore law and order and prepare for fresh elections.

  • Comment number 45.

    Easy call:- Free and Fair DEMOCRATIC Elections. Red Shirts are RESISTING Authoritarian Imposition and should be Supported wherever Democracy Rules.

    Abhisit and Cronies USURPED Power with help from Military, and are behaving like they were born to be DICTATORS.

    That Western Cradles of Democracy en masse, are deafeningly SILENT over an ELECTED President forceably replaced by an INSTALLED Bigot and his Gang, really begs the question over Foreign Involvement. Haiti, Honduras, now Thailand:- Shades of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan.

    Until WE can decide WHAT exactly We stand-for, our Troubles will keep Multiplying,straddling the fence makes for a very sore crotch.

  • Comment number 46.

    The democratic process in Thailand was hijacked by Thaksin for personal gain. He bought votes to get elected and he is paying this red shirt mob now. This is all about one man's greed so naturally the government cannot give in. Sure, there are underlying issues but most of the red shirts have no idea what democracy is or how it is supposed to work. They want and deserve a better life but they vote for whoever gives them money. Political parties in Thailand are not aligned to any particular ideology. MP's herd from one party to another purely for personal gain. And when their party is rumbled for breaking the rules, they just form another one to replace it. Should it be considered a possibility that some countries are not best served by democracy? Maybe a benevolent autocracy with the support of the military is the best solution for Thailand until its citizens grow up and learn to hold their elected representaives to account.

  • Comment number 47.

    Now is the time to negotiate, as later will be much more complicated and difficult. Eventually, there will be another election, and the current government will lose unless it does something for the rural poor. You can talk about who is lying and whose fault it is, but in the future, that will not matter. Everyone will loose. Bangkok will no longer be the major hub in SE Asia. Vietnam, Cambodia, Lao and Sri Lanka will have offerings for tourists. Businesses will have fled Thailand in search of greater stability.

  • Comment number 48.

    I don't see any quick solution. The Government seems impotent and the Army disinclined to take positive action which allows the present stand-off. And if the other factions join in then anarchy leading to civil war is a real possibility. For the long term perhaps with the King ailing, the royalty should perhaps go into retirement and be replaced by a strong, intelligent, neutral but benevelant Dictator who could right the present wrongs and control the fanatics and those with private agendas on all sides. Brian.

  • Comment number 49.

    Ref to 46

    We had an old saying: "A wrong ruin more than its worth".

    No matter how guilty Thaksin is/was in corrupting the "democratic" system, the way ousted him is no way "democratic".In fact it probably shame law and order.

    But, the Thai elites opted to fight in this way and get backlashed with pro-Thaksin camp won another election.

    Then comes the Yellow shits shamed the country again, ignoring law and order , too.

    Finally, you go back to law and order and what the world see? Get Thaksin el at like a common manipulator...

    It is harder and harder to believe, the current elits in power are doing better for their country.
    Most likely as corrupted as Thaksin -- for their own good.

  • Comment number 50.

    Franz Schlatzer's comment by far the best and objective here. It was ever such a shame that Chuan Leekpai was voted out of office. Everything has slowly gone downhill since then. Now we have this split which my Thai friends see as being a disaster in the making and they like so many ordinary Thai's just wish they can get on with their lives in peace. As they see it, the instigator of the Red Shirts is the Ultra-corrupt Taksin. Many ordinary Thai's find it strange that he was allowed to leave the country whilst waiting his prison sentence for corruption.

    What is needed is someone like Chuan Leekpai to nomalise the situation and let Thailand be what it should be as it's name suggests a Free Country - The Land of Smiles.

  • Comment number 51.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 52.

    The way out of the conflict is for all involved and affected to recognise and accept that "democracy" means a lot more than just getting voted in by a 'majority' (honestly or not).

    A culture of self-interest creates unrest and until those in power have a clear understanding of what is in the long-term best interests of all (including minorities) and a resolve to work together to bring it about, there will only be a shift of conflict from one self-interest to another.

    Is this likely to happen soon? No. Does it happen in other countries? Not much.

    Sad.

  • Comment number 53.

    All the troubles arose because Thaksin bought the votes of people living in the North and North East of Thailand by using the money of hardworking Thai people to fund public health services for lazy Thai people.

    I have no sympathy at all for the 'red shirts'. They are mostly lazy people who do not have the work ethic required to create wealth for themselves.

    It is exactly the same as here in the UK where Brown & Co buys the votes of millions of benefit scroungers.

  • Comment number 54.

    One of the major problems for Thais and others at present in Bangkok is the lack of an unbiased sources for information. I have heard many Thais complain of this and they say it is difficult for them to make an informed judgement on the current situation.

    However, somethings are apparent. There has been a sea-change in the way politics and the government operates in Thailand over the last 5 - 6 years. Prior to Taksin, no government party had had a majority, nor had they governed for the full term. This had meant that control of parliament was often done by the people in the background who "pulled the strings" of the various politicians. Taksin changed that and furthermore, he used populist policies to ensure he stayed in power, by way of providing "care" to the largest voting region, Issan.

    Whether, you love or hate Taksin he changed the face of Thai politics and I don't see a way back "to how it used to be". For a developing democracy such as Thailand this has to be a good thing. I just hope that the current power-brokers recognise and embrace this change and learn new strategies which are beneficial to the continuance of democracy in Thailand and benefits all shirt colours, red, yellow, pink, blue whatever.

    We have witnessed the example of the massive changes that have occurred in the USA and how those changes were achieved using the democratic process. Thailand please take note, things can change peacefully.

  • Comment number 55.

    Zak_Lantern (26) is right about the abysmal standard of BBC journalism regarding the mare's nest that is Thai politics. You can't just parachute talking heads in to cover such a complex situation without any real insight into it. All we get from BBC reporters is a series of superficial snapshots and "The red-shirts say..."; "The yellow-shirts say..."

    Where are the facts?

    In all the dozens of reports I've read so far, two very important points seem to have entirely escaped the BBC's notice:

    (i) The system of political representation is heavily biased in favour of Bangkok's 10 percent of the population as a result of a gerrymandered party list, which dilutes the voting power of the populous northeast – the red-shirts' power base;

    ii) The population of the capital, Bangkok, is about 70% ethnic Chinese, who have a stranglehold on the economy here as they do in many other Southeast Asian nations.

    Put these together and you have the recipe for a civil war and possibly even genocide.

  • Comment number 56.

    I live in Bangkok for the past 15 years. I have witness numerious govt. come and go. 100% are corrupted and they only concern for themselve only. Making money for themselve without consideration for the people. I do not agreed to the Red Shirt protester present action, neither I agreed to the Yellow shirt action. They took over the parliment house and the airport. Any body meantion what the Yellow Shirt done and were they being charge in the law of court by the present govtl

    Any terrorist action the govt. will blame on the Red Shirt protester without proper investigation. What will you do if the riot police and army arm with rifle and guns, I will fight back to my best means in order to survive. Govt. cliam that they only fire live bullets in the air in defence. Do you beleive it? You should see the weapons Red Shirt sieze from the army, Machine guns. They are not fighting aganist an invading armies.
    What Thailand needs is a total new breed of politician, not the present rotten lots, in order for them to get out of the situation,

  • Comment number 57.


    I have lived in Thailand for the last 2 years, though not in Bangkok. The average Thai DOES NOT want unrest or to live under, what the media are terming, the brink of civil war. Nor do they want to see their economy shrinking as businesses, large and small, become increasingly affected.

    So, rather than a vote on a successful party, why not start by issuing a ballot slip that has 3 boxes, i) Resolution with violence ii) Resolution through constructive negotiations or iii) Allow the current government to complete it's term, and let Bangkok get back to being the thriving Capital that it used to be. After all, what is productive about an early change of Government? Any party needs a fair innings in order to prove or disprove themselves.

    If a surprise majority elects option 1, then put all the whatever-coloured shirts in a compound and let the strongest side "win" without unnecessary loss of life or damage to the community.

  • Comment number 58.

    Firstly I'd like to make a point to the people bringing God into this question - Thailand is a Buddhist nation with a tiny minority of Christians. They are not about to pray to your God so please keep your Christian ideas to yourself. The bible states 'Love Thy Neighbour (Real English spelling)' so please allow other faiths to express their own religions in their own way.

    Now as to the question, this whole argument with the Red Shirts and Yellow Shirts is not to do with Democracy, that would have involved negotiation which is something the Red Shirts have until now consistently refused. This is to do with a future event in Thailand that will occur unfortunately quite soon.

    The Elite groups are positioning themselves so that they will be in the best place to pillage the country in the near future. The Elites from the Rural areas are trying to ensure that the Elites in Bangkok can no longer run the country. Under certain previous administrations the graft was better spread into rural areas and they want their fingers back in the piggy bank. It is the innocent, both serving soldiers of low rank and the civilians who are currently camped in various parts of Bangkok, that are being used and killed to try to achieve this.

    In a way I agree with the request for the UN to help, but not to protect the protesters since they have broken numerous perfectly valid laws and would never have been allowed to get away with this in London or Washington (26 fatalities would be a football riot in comparison). Peaceful protest is fine but these Shirts of any colour are not peaceful protesters. I would like the UN here to monitor the upcoming election and ensure that any vote buying (which is rife in the rural areas) is noted and revealed to the outside world. Then when one colour or the other complains that the other side bought more votes than they did the international community can turn around and say yes they did, but since you both spent the same amount it's pretty fair.

    Also, just like under Thatcher and the early years of the Blair government the voting districts are the key. Here there are more voting districts in Issan than in other parts of Thailand, so that area has more of a say in the setup of any government than any other. And yet the Red Shirts, who claim to speak for the people of Issan, make the claim that they have been disenfranchised by the current government. Well if that is true then I suggest the people of England rise up and overthrow the British government since both Prime Ministers came to power pretty much the same way. But Mr Brown has avoided that by calling his election right at the last moment he could.

    Thais are wonderful people, but they can be very easily led down a very dark alley by people who are not completely honest with their intentions. In the West politicians buy votes by promising to do certain things. In the US it is to keep certain companies and jobs in that Senator/Congressman's district. In the UK it is to guarantee certain public services will continue to be funded better than they have been.

    In Thailand the payoff is cash and then the MP or Senator gets to ensure that his family, friends and associates all get a slice of the backhanders that go with every project that is allowed to proceed. If the rural people actually were to do the sensible thing, ie exactly what the politicians do to them, they would take the money and vote for whoever they wanted to. Be it the one who paid or any other. This would quickly make vote buying pointless. But family and village ties are too strong for this. When the Headman says vote for X then the whole village will vote for them and each will get their x baht for the pleasure.

    In the future I hope/think Thailand will recover, but with the way the Baht is being manipulated at the moment it may actually be completely broken financially before anything happens politically and with that will come a disaster that no political party can fix.

  • Comment number 59.

    After Living and working in Thailand and seeing 3 takeovers by the military. I left there after 8 years in 1985. And I was lucky enough to find Laos, where it is very peaceful and very crime free and quite too. I have lived her over 10 years now. And would never go back to Thailand again. As far as the current Govt. They should take the Red Shirts current offer and change Parlament after 1 month. Sounds like the best offer they will ever get.
    Gary

  • Comment number 60.

    12. At 4:13pm on 23 Apr 2010, Lorne2 wrote:

    "Well even if the 'red shirts' win, we will then have the 'yellow shirts' out next month, why don't they just split the country in two, its worked quite well for the two Koreas."

    ---------------------------

    I agree with you fully, first of all we need USA's help to make the "split" a success.

  • Comment number 61.

    I'd never joined yellow-shirts but I confess I deadly hate Thaksin and support PM. Abhisit. That's why I join the mutilcolor-demonstration to red-shirts.

  • Comment number 62.

    This whole exercise is rooted in money. Specifically incomes for the farmers in Thailand.
    Thai farmers can sell everything that they grow,the price being fixed by the Government. When Thaksin was in power the price increased by 50%.
    The street price did not increase.Bangkok paid the subsidy.
    Farms are small,(my girlfriends family farm is 8 acres-it grows sugar cane)the gross income is approx $3000 a year.The farms are handed down thru the generations which results in more farmers with smaller and smaller farms (a bit like France)
    Perhaps the ultimate solution is to let market forces prevail.

  • Comment number 63.

    I worry about violence and fact distortion. My yongest sister’s Thaksin-pro. I told her how red-shirts libel to our King. She call for the evidence, so I browse to Ji Ungpakorn and Redsiam website that lash thai people to changing the regime. I know she love our King but she never know this hidden agenda. If Thaksin sicere, you must boycott Redsiam and Ji Ungpakorn. Show me..Thaksin.

  • Comment number 64.

    Politicians in most countries, tend to live in isolation from the people they are supposed to represent. Indeed the busyiest ones, the ones given actual authority, such as Britain's Cabinet, will blame the situation and be too busy to see their constituents. And yet, at the end of the period, you can look back and wonder what they really did in their five years, because it is certainly lost on me! You only see them when elections are held.

    It would seem that the only real way for Thailand is to go for immediate elections, but with the people's agreement to now abide by the results this time. If the King has the authority, and the army doesn't want to shoot any more people I see no other way. As a famous author once siad, the ordinary people can take so much, but when they are finally pushed to taking up arms you'd better get out of their way!
    A revolution is an acceptable way to fundamentally change things when all else has failed.

  • Comment number 65.

    After coup d'etat, there're no red-shirts protest to Samak and Somchai government but they protested to Abhisit government which came from the same process to Somchai government. I'd never joined yellow-shirts but I support PM.Abhisit. So I join the mutilcolor-demonstration to red-shirts.

  • Comment number 66.

    I don’t know where else to post this and the strength of my feelings means I have to post it somewhere. I have spent most of the last 20 years in Thailand and still reside in SE Asia and travel to the Kingdom regularly with my Thai wife. I would never consider myself an expert on the murky world of Thai politics but have a level of understanding that prompts this complaint. The BBC’s coverage of Thailand at the moment is amateurish, lacks clear insight and understanding and is simplistic in the extreme. You have fallen in the trap of trying to make the red shirts out as the rural peasants and all yellow shirts as middle class and business people. Appallingly simplistic journalism akin to getting news from ‘the man in the pub’.

    I have always been someone who actually sided with the BBC when friends to the right of my political stance claimed bias in the corporation. On this occasion the poor quality of your reporting and analysis is proving them right.

  • Comment number 67.

    Thailand must be chang to real democracy. Everyone have equal right.
    Grass root shall win soon.

  • Comment number 68.

    as an example of poor quality, your article http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7584005.stm states that "Many of the protesters come from Thailand's rural north and northeast. They benefited from the populist policies Mr Thaksin framed during his five years in power - such as on health and education - and many of them want him back".

    Under Thaksin his 30 Baht health scheme proved unworkable (if it was not for my waife her father would have not had an operation as the scheme could not cover it). English language education reduced in schools.

  • Comment number 69.

    What these folks need is the "Bill of Rights," the great gift the Founding Fathers gave to America and to the entire world.

    Download free copies of the "Refrigerator Door Bill of Rights" at: www.National-Education-Project.org

    Have your kids sign it, add their school picture, and post it on your refrigerator door (hence, the name).

    Or send it to anyone you wish, anywhere.

    The liberties of the people. That is, all the people of the world.

    Free.

    Norman Manasa
    [Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 70.

    united nation should see to terorism accross the world

  • Comment number 71.

    The situation in Thailand is very, very simple but is very complicated to fix.

    3 groups - The so called "elite", the "yellows" and the "reds".

    The "elite" have been brainwashing the nation since the beginning of time. At the same time the "elite" have been lining their pockets and have accumulated a disgusting amount of money. It's gone on for too long. This is where Mr Taksin comes in. He started to make changes in Thailand and gained a lot of respect among Thai's. NOT JUST THE POOR FARMERS OF ISAAN there are many well educated Taksin followers, normally not rich but well educated but please note: not all red shirts support Taksin. The "elite" felt threatened and jealous by Taksin's popularity and wanted him out before he was able to change Thailand (in a good way) indefinitely and expose all the lies and wrong doings of the "elite". Not only would the "elite" lose power they would lose their income/wealth and a proportion of them would more than likely find themselves sent to prison.
    The red shirts simply aren't putting up with this any longer but It's a hard battle when the media are controlled by the government and the rest of the country are yellow shirts because they are a product of brainwashing (you can't blame the yellow shirts though, they've been brainwashed since birth and the media are still reporting lies to them.
    More and more people in Thailand are beginning to see the light but it takes time.
    The "elite" have everything to lose and if they dissolve parliament this time they may lose their power forever. They are willing to fight, lie, cheat and even murder their own people. From recent events it looks like they are trying to start a civil war to save themselves. The government are setting up groups of yellow shirt protestors to fight against the reds.

    Do you think it's possible that the government themselves set off the recent grenades to blame on the reds and help turn the country against the reds.

    Old, old tactics used many years ago by many other countries in the world.
    One thing I find difficult to comprehend that sickens me so much is the extent of greed and selfishness among leaders of a country and the extent to which they are willing to be wicked and unkind to their own people.

  • Comment number 72.

    What these folks need is the "Bill of Rights," the great gift the Founding Fathers gave to America and to the entire world.
    Norman Manasa

    Norman--You haven't heard of the Magna Carta then?

  • Comment number 73.

    What these folks need is the "Bill of Rights," the great gift the Founding Fathers gave to America and to the entire world.
    Norman Manasa
    **************************************************************************
    Oh dear, another confused American. If the Bill of rights was so holy, why did Bush/Cheyney rip it up?

    Anyway back to Thailand: perhaps it is about time His Majesty offered advice to all parties. That would hopefully cool the situation.

  • Comment number 74.

    Sad news, the government rejects the offer from the red-shirsts to hold a new election, and insists to use the army force to crack down the protesters. The red-shirt leaders announced to have their people take off the red colored shirst and were other colors instead, so they won't be an easy target for the crack down.

    The reason THai government rejects to have a new election is Abhisit knows full well that his party has no way to win the election. I think he gets a full back up from the palace. Thailand is in the blink of having a civil war. The old power, the royalists , will not let go thier power.

  • Comment number 75.

    I wonder why the tyrants are willing to kill people, Just because the protesters ask for a new election is not a request that is too much for getting killed.

    Only reason behind Abhisit's decision to crack down the red-shirt protesters is this time the red-shirts may change the out-of-date structure of Thailand.

  • Comment number 76.

    @ no.70 IdowuDanielAyedele:UN is a terrorist organisation itself backed by the U.S.and other EU nations.
    Oh,how i wish and pray that some other organisation is formed to help the underdeveloped and defenseless Nations.

  • Comment number 77.

    Everything in Thailand is designed to benefit the elite. In many ways, I think a revolution is necessary to break the stranglehold of two thousand years of feudalism. Thaksin was no Robin Hood but he was the closest thing you'll get to it in Thailand. Perhaps, a revoluion will enable Thai society to find some greater equality as it did in the US, France and Russia. I hope that the majority of Thai people will see that the elite, represented by this Eton/Oxford, English born Prime Minister, have no concern for their well-being and future and are intent on maintaining this turgid status quo well ino the next century.

  • Comment number 78.

    I think the situation in Thailand is terrible and I think the goverment and the people will need to work together to ensure economic and social stability.

  • Comment number 79.

    My thoughts are with the thai people at this time.

  • Comment number 80.

    What these folks need is the "Bill of Rights," the great gift the Founding Fathers gave to America and to the entire world.
    Norman Manasa

    Norman--You haven't heard of the Magna Carta then?

    ________

    R E Jected: It is certainly true that the American Bill of Rights draws to a very real extent on the liberties established by the Magna Carta. But if with a certain calmness of mind you were to compare one document against the next, you might agree that the rights protected by the Bill of Rights are far more specific and far more expansive that the rights protected by Magna Carta (or by the Cylinder of Cyrus the Great, come to think of it, and for the same reason).

    And that, as a result, the Bill of Rights, with its full range of protected liberties, is what the people of Thailand today actually do need, which was the point of my original comment.

    Kind regards,

    Norman Manasa

  • Comment number 81.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 82.

    What these folks need is the "Bill of Rights," the great gift the Founding Fathers gave to America and to the entire world.
    Norman Manasa
    *************************************************************************

    Oh dear, another confused American. If the Bill of rights was so holy, why did Bush/Cheyney rip it up?

    Anyway back to Thailand: perhaps it is about time His Majesty offered advice to all parties. That would hopefully cool the situation.

    *********************************************************************

    Miker201
    If with a certain calmness of mind you were to read the Bill of Rights, with its full range of specific and protected liberties, you might agree that the Bill of Rights might be helpful to the people of Thailand and something they actually could use.

    Here’s how you (and anyone in Thailand) can get a free copy: www.National-Education-Project.org

    Kind regards,

    Norman Manasa

  • Comment number 83.

    The UDD - (United front for Democracy against Dictatorship) continue to make demands. Such demands are NOT democratic, and many Thais oppose them. Do they not even see the hypocrisy in what they do?
    Also they (UDD) blame the government for violence - yet ONE WORD from Thaksin Shinawatra would send the Red Shirts home and violence would be avoided.
    Thaksin has this blood on his hands and should be condemned by the world's press for his inaction after having called the Red Shirts into this protest (coincidently just after some of his billions were confiscated).
    The UDD leaders are Thaksin's puppets, which is why they are unable to negotiate.

  • Comment number 84.

    Abhesit was expected to Refuse any suggestion of FAIR Elections BEFORE he and his cronies had time to TAMPER with Thailand's Constitution.
    FACT is he could NOT win a FREE and FAIR Election.

    King's SILENCE over this Power-Grab mean he's either HOSTAGE to Abhesit led COUPE, or he shares the view that POOR People are not deserving of the VOTE. It's time to declare himself One way or the other, Thailand is bordering on Civil-War.

    With access to FACTUAL Information via Internet, World's POOR will increasingly DEMAND a FAIRER Share of the Economic Pie, rather than traditional settling for Pie-in-the-Sky, afterall, they are the ones doing the HARD-WORK.

  • Comment number 85.

    If with a certain calmness of mind you were to read the Bill of Rights, with its full range of specific and protected liberties, you might agree that the Bill of Rights might be helpful to the people of Thailand and something they actually could use.

    Here’s how you (and anyone in Thailand) can get a free copy: www.National-Education-Project.org

    Kind regards,

    Norman Manasa

    ***********************************************************************

    Norman,

    We have the Magna Carta to fall back on. It predates the bill of rights by about 1000 years. You can freely peruse the history on Wikipedia.

    All of this doesn't help the Thai people until they get a home grown "Great Charter", not one from another culture. I hope Thailand, a country in which I have worked and admire, manages to reconcile for the benefit of all, in its own way.

  • Comment number 86.

    The lack of knowledge about this subject displayed by the BBC & Sky News (Aus & NZ) that I've received is shocking. Also many of the comments by readers of this website show a lot of ignorance.

    Thailand is not some overcrowded, backward, hardline muslim country.

    The country only has a population of 60 million, is roughly the same size as france, has plenty of available natural resources and the majority of Thais want to live in peace. Over 95% of the population are devote buddhist & loyal to the king.

    The main problem here is class. Why should the majority of Thais work hard for low wages while rich elites cream off all the profit and keep everyone else firmly in their place.

    1 vote 1 person is fair. Regardless of class. The result should stand. But the elites know they wouldn't win if that was the case. I don't know the answer because these people have held the power in Thailand forever. They won't allow change. And if you question the system, they say you are not loyal to the king.

    A marvellous independent country (never colonized) populated in general by people sharing a very special culture. The class system & the corruption it brings will ensure political unrest continues to spoil.

  • Comment number 87.

    If the Government was dissolved and new elections held, and as I expect the present government returned would these people accept the result and stop demonstrating? I expect not.

  • Comment number 88.

    Please correct the Red Shirt Protest time line. The dates are incorrect. Thank you.

  • Comment number 89.

    From what I have read, your reporting from Thailand does not go deep enough. The result is a distorted picture of what is happening. What readers are left with is an image of the protesters as pro-democracy. This is far too simplistic. The protesters represent a force much closer to the dark side of populism than to democracy's hope.

    The corruption of the former Prime Minister, Thaksin Chinawatra, in the past and of his supporters, the red shirts, must be taken into account. It is Thaksin's money that generates the demonstrators in the streets not any passion for democracy. Unfortunately, Thaksin's influence has a long reach. It sways government officials, the police, the military and some in the business community. This must be understood by anyone seeking to understand Thailand's unrest.

  • Comment number 90.

    Well it looks like there will now be another bloodbath in Bangkok.If the Bangkok establishment believes that killing the protestors to clear a shopping district will solve the problems - they are going to be very much mistaken.
    The tide of history is against them.Facts are facts,Democrats have been the minority party in the last 3 elections with only 26% of the popular vote.Coups,bizarre judiciary decisions (disbarring an elected prime minister for participating in a cooking show),hypocrisy by allowing the pro establishment yellow shirts (PAD) to hijack and shut down Bangkok International Airport and Phuket Airports with no military intervention and no imprisonment of the leaders,continuously banning of the largest popular party with 40% of the popular vote (which is the political party of the red shirts) after elections,double standards in dealing with protestors,Thailand's establishment will become increasingly isolated both in their own country and in the international community.
    Every country in the world,renews itself and becomes more meritocratic - Thailand's establishment is trying to pretend the world and Thailand's people have not changed in the last 40 years.Listening to some of the Thai elite's justifications for smashing the red shirts reminds me of how the ruling establishments of the Deep South in the USA described black people (uneducated,need to have a boss,should not have a vote,are inferior) and we know how that turned out!
    Indeed there was shock in Thailand that the patrician,high society,John McCain could lose to a black man and whose wife came from descendents of slaves in the last US elections.
    If the US was Thailand,the establishment would have banned the result of the election by either a military coup,or by the judiciary or by destabilising the government by supporting agitators (the yellow shirts).

  • Comment number 91.

    There is one person who can resolve this problem. He is King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Say what you want about him, he is revered by the Thai people and they will listen to him. I do not know why he hasn't intervened yet. Perhaps he hopes to wait it out. But each day he doesn't speak up, the odds of a peaceful resolution grow dimmer.

  • Comment number 92.

    I believe that majority of the protesters join the protest voluntarily. There may be someone finance the protest, but that is not the point. The point is they feel that their voices were overriden by the elites of the system.

  • Comment number 93.

    The first step that Thailand can move forward to a democratic society is to remove the lese majesty law. It is the way that Thai establishmnet use to control people's idea.

  • Comment number 94.

    To all the Foreigners and some supporter of red-shirt, and of course BBC news. Let me explain you further about why the protest is illegal and dangerouse for the democracy with the monarchy in Thailand.

    First, they are not peaceful protest. They although didn't use weapon explicitly at first, but they threat people who disagree with them.

    Second, the words they are using and the fake Prime Minister voice are not peaceful action.

    Third, if the Government accepts the red shirt demand, where is the law and order?

    let me put it this way, if your prime minister was threaten to be killed or got blood thrown in front of his house, would you listen to those people demand?

    I am sick of people trying to understand the situation in Thailand where you don't even know us very well. This protest is not a normal one, they are considered as terrorists using bombs to kill innocent lives.

  • Comment number 95.

    I have been in Thailand for some time now and have witnessed the protests in Bangkok. every time i have seen the red shirts they are very friendly towards me. I do not believe they want to hurt any foriegners, they only want the right to vote.I dont profess to be an expert in Thai politics but i can tell you that Thailand is very corrupt from top to bottom. I even had a police officer stop me for no reason in Bangkok and fine me for littering. I didn't litter but he told me unless i gave him money he would call his superintendant and i would be in big trouble. this was only half a mile away from the red protesters encampment and all he was worried about was fleecing tourists.Thai people are mostly very friendly but the minority only see foriegners as a walking ATM. They have to be very careful and realise that a large amount of money comes to Thailand via tourism and the ongoing protests and corrupt people will only disscourage people from coming.
    I like Thailand alot but the corruption and ripping people off will never stop as it is ingrained in thier society.
    Changing polititions will not stop anything.

  • Comment number 96.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 97.

    As the Thai idiom has it, it's time for the permed-hair Mercedez-driving Bangkok hi-sos to drink their own poison. In the words of the marvellous Ji Ungpakorn:

    ALL POWER TO THE REDSHIRTS!! POWER TO THE PEOPLE! POWER TO WORKERS AND PEASANTS! DOWN WITH THE DICTATORS, THE ARMY, THE FASCIST PAD and THE MONARCHY!!

  • Comment number 98.

    At 03:46am on 25 Apr 2010, Win wrote:

    "First, they are not peaceful protest. They although didn't use weapon explicitly at first, but they threat people who disagree with them."

    No, it's not a peaceful protest. The government deployed armed soldiers - including snipers - against the reds. I'm sure you've seen the pictures of the results but if not, leave your email address and I'll forwards stills and video to you.

    "Second, the words they are using and the fake Prime Minister voice are not peaceful action."

    What does that mean? You lot pride yourself on your education but you can't even make yourself understood.

    "Third, if the Government accepts the red shirt demand, where is the law and order?"

    And what did the Butcher of Bangkok say when it was yellow-shirted fascists making demands of a democratically-elected government? The difference, of course, is that the reds seek to restore democracy, whilst the fascist-militarist PAD-Democrat alliance seeks to do away with it.

    "I am sick of people trying to understand the situation in Thailand where you don't even know us very well. This protest is not a normal one, they are considered as terrorists using bombs to kill innocent lives."

    I understand Thailand very well. I've lived for a decade in rural Thailand. In fact, from my (unfortunately) considerable exposure to the pampered, smug, self-satisfied Bangkok elites, I think I understand rural Thailand rather better than most of the PAD-Democrat fascists. As for the terrorist idiocy, please. You may believe the pathetic attempts of Abhisit to spin his way out of this but the rest of us are not so stupid.

    Incidentally, it was reported that the reds seized anti-aircraft guns from the soldiers. The government sent soldiers armed with anti-aircraft guns against people armed with bamboo sticks and fermented fish. Who, exactly, is the terrorist there?

  • Comment number 99.

    Abhisit said he will not compromise with the protesters to have a new election within 3 months. The ridiculous reason he used is the protesters are too intimidating. The real reason is if the election happens he is no way going to be elected. He wants to drag the new election to after 6 months so he can appoint a new miltary commanders in October, in case if the new government comes from the red-shirted group, so the establishments are sure that the army is under their control.

    The establishments consist of the royal, the military, government officers, and big businesses which have strong business ties with the royal investments.

  • Comment number 100.

    continent7 You seem to have a very selective memory when it comes to history, then again WORLD history and geography have never been big in the states. Let me see now, US overseas history, Chile, Honduras,El Salvador oops sorry you weren't there were you, Panama (hell of a war there by the way 7)Philipines, Guam, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos. The big difference between the US and Europe, you can still see what we left behind. When the US leaves the only thing left to the people is destruction and brothels.

 

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