Thailand in the News Week Ending 3/27/10

Bangkok to Red Shirts: Shit or Get Off the Pot

Red Rally In Bangkok

Picture Courtesy Bangkok Post

While the past two weeks of protests by the Red shirts have been largely uneventful and even looked upon favorably by a lot of Bangkok’s citizens, the welcome is definitely wearing thin. With several bomb blasts from grenades at two TV stations including the larger NBT Television and the Army-run Channel 5 and a grenade attack reported at the Customs Department in Klong Toey soon the atmosphere will not be exactly friendly to the Red shirts.

As I said before they would have done well to stage their less than million man march last week and then sit down for peaceful talks with the government. Instead they have decided to continue their protests and make what was once considered a friendly protest into as more prolonged siege that will undoubtedly not go well for them.

With the peoples backing they had the ball in their court but now the people of Bangkok are getting pissed off and showing their displeasure with their countrymen. Once more the Red shirt leaders know this and have started to pull back from some of their promises such as storming the government house.

A Bangkok communities consortium statement was released a few days ago calling for a halt to protests and for peaceful negotiations. The businessmen for democracy society has added their voices to the long list of Bangkok residents tired of the protests and even staged a protest of their own headed by their president and over 30 members to protest the protests.

A somewhat more influential contingent, the Federation of Thai Industries, also voiced their concern and disapproval of the Reds’ disruption, via their chairman, Santi Vilassakdanont, who, according to the Bangkok Post, highlighted the negative psychological impact the continuing rallies are having, suggesting that the UDD consider using parliamentary procedures instead of street rallies, with the admonishment that “In a democracy, we must respect the rights of others.” – The Bangkok Post

Of course Thaksin is keeping the pressure on the Red shirt leaders to continue because after all he is one selfish son of a bitch that only cares about his own money and political future. The Red shirts would do well to remove their current leaders and sit down with the government peacefully before this turns into something much bigger and much more nightmarish.

The Red shirts would also do well to remember that while they do have grievances that must be heard they themselves are hurting everyday Thai’s in Bangkok due to their efforts. Tourism in Bangkok is down and many Thai’s are affected by these daily tantrums. If the Red shirts don’t soon “shit or get off the pot” then they will lose not only the respect they had earned but they will also lose the right to have their grievances heard.

The Red shirts are represented in the government by the Puea Thai Party and should look to them to remedy the concerns of the rural Thai’s and if they cannot then they need to find new leaders that can. Thaksin is most assuredly not the answer and everyone is getting tired of hearing about his plight…the poor man must find it hard to live on the millions of dollars he still maintains.

Bangkok last weekend

Picture Courtesy Bangkok Post


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15 Responses to Thailand in the News Week Ending 3/27/10
  1. Lloyd
    March 28, 2010 | 11:57 am

    Its interesting to listen to the rhetoric against the red shirts, it seems people have easily forgotten the yellow shirt protests and just how long they dragged on and the damage that was done, the red shirts are pacifists in comparison.

    I don’t agree with a lot of what the red shirts are doing however the need for social and political change in Thailand cannot be denied. If the red shirts succeed in their goal to bring about fresh elections then I have no doubt you will see far more trouble caused the vocal minority.

    • Talen
      March 28, 2010 | 12:23 pm

      Lloyd, I agree with you about the Yellow shirts wholeheartedly. They had no real grievance and made massive disruptions.

      The Red shirts have been in a position where they can do something and they have garnered a lot of respect from Bangkok citizens but the longer this is drawn out those feelings will change…especially now with more bombings, even if the Reds aren’t responsible.

      • Lloyd
        March 28, 2010 | 12:51 pm

        The government is in a position to subdue if not stop the protesters using deplomacy however they have failed to stand up and face the opposition in a professional or respectable manner. Instead the government has used anti social and repressive laws, the army and misleading media speculation in an effort to control the dissent.

        The damaged being caused to Thailand has more to do with the governments continued abuse of the Internal Security Act for no reason than anything the red shirted protesters have done this year.
        .-= Lloyd´s last blog ..Cycling in Phuket, Thailand =-.

        • Talen
          March 28, 2010 | 1:05 pm

          Lloyd, Apparently the Prime Minister will be sitting down to the table with the Protesters.

          While I agree the burden has been on the government the Red shirts have representatives in the government in the form of the Puea Thai Party, who have basically sat back and done nothing.

          The Red shirts need better leadership as the leaders they have had from Thaksin on down have not had their best interests at heart.

          The Lese Majeste laws have done significant harm as well especially now that the law is being used in a more political manner.

  2. Martyn
    March 28, 2010 | 2:40 pm

    Talen I have just read the Bangkok Post report on the proposed talks between the PM and red shirts….here’s a snippet of it

    ….Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is ready to hold negotiations with representatives of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, and his secretary-general Korbsak Sabhavasu is coordinating with the UDD to make the necessary arrangements…..

    The red shirts must have read your post because the longer this demonstration drags on the UDD are going to start undoing any new support they’ve gained. The talks are probably the excuse the UDD need to send most of their supporters back home with a feeling that a part victory has been won. It may however depend on Thaksin Shinawatra deciding whether the growing disruption will heighten and end with a winner takes all. It would be a huge gamble by Mr T especially as you report that Bangkok residents are starting to want the pot full or put away. Solid post.
    .-= Martyn´s last blog ..Red Red Whine =-.

    • Talen
      March 28, 2010 | 2:53 pm

      Martyn, We can only hope the talks go well and Thaksin is left at the door. It’s unfortunate that they keep linking Thaksin to the cause because they really do have grievances that need to be heard and acted on.

      Of course Thaksin will take full advantage of this by proclaiming his protests a success. Be nice if the Reds turn around and tell him ” Thanks for the help and funding but your services are no longer needed.”

  3. Mike
    March 28, 2010 | 4:05 pm

    Talen with talks due to start in 6 minutes I shall follow twitter with interest. That said they could be the shortest talks on record along the lines of:

    Reds-dissolve parliament and resign

    PM – No

    Now I hope it doesn’t go that way, I have a feeling this PM has a bit more about him, despite using the army. I doubt a GE would actually solve anything unless a well known Thai ghost is laid and the country moves forward.

    Personally I can’t see the reds suddenly ditching their sponsor and all the rhetoric about the ruling classes, since those same folk will still be in control and the reds will still be in the same boat.
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Dhrama Wheel-Wheel of Law Buddhism Photo/Image =-.

    • Talen
      March 28, 2010 | 4:26 pm

      Mike, the talk could prove to be very interesting or as you said very short…we’ll have to wait and see.

      I don’t see the Reds leaving Thaksin behind anytime soon but eventually he will be the movements downfall unless of course they succeed in taking control of the government and pardoning him…in that case Thaksin will soon be Prime Minister again.

      Never a dull moment…

      • Lloyd
        March 28, 2010 | 5:38 pm

        Watching the live coverage of the ‘talks’ it is interesting to look at the body language of the two different groups and between the individuals within each group.

        During the initial red shirt leaders discussion the PM looked absolutely bored and was constantly looking at his iPhone, which you could here receiving messages, whilst the other two members of the Governments group seemed honestly interested. It seems to highlight what is being said in the media, that the PM was ‘forced’ to attend the talks by the Army, privy councillors and other cabinet members and has little interest in what they have to say.

        • Talen
          March 29, 2010 | 3:45 am

          Lloyd, I wouldn’t doubt his party said enough is enough and made him concede to the talks.

          Seems there will be another round so maybe they will tell him to feign interest next time.

  4. Ben Shingleton
    March 28, 2010 | 5:48 pm

    Hi Talen, I think you’re right about Thaksin, his involvement cannot help the red shirts… surely they are are better off with him? Thanks for the info.
    .-= Ben Shingleton´s last blog ..France vs England at Stade de France =-.

  5. Ben Shingleton
    March 28, 2010 | 5:49 pm

    Hi Talen, I think you’re right about Thaksin, his involvement cannot help the red shirts… surely they are are better off without him? Thanks for the info.
    .-= Ben Shingleton´s last blog ..France vs England at Stade de France =-.

  6. pum
    April 23, 2010 | 6:59 am

    ok i really don’t know what happening to thailand but i want to tell people that we don’t have to fight each just for one goverment.we don’t know if he good or not.we just have to wait the truth to come out nobody can hide the truth
    from god. i have one question…
    why people doing this?
    one thing i really want to tell thai people thatthai people should love each other like a family not like we have to fight for somebody that we don’t know.
    ok i want to ask you all if one of you family were red shirt or yellow shirt would you kill them like you guy did each other right now?
    the other one is the goverment don’t know what going happen anyway he don’t know if someone hoing to each other….
    that why all of thai people should have a change to talk to you……
    i know its hard to let someone talk that you don’t like….
    thai people should stop fighting cause you don’t know what are you doing right you are killing somebody that don’t know the truth well no body know the truth only the goverment he the only one that know the truth…if he don’t tell thee truth he will go to hell cause he lying.
    ok i really don’t know what going on but i really want to tell all the thai people that even i don’t live in thailand right now but my heart over there its really hurt to see my country be like this.i really want to tell you guys that we have to love each other like a family that no body can break us apart not even sin or anythings….
    so please don’t fight no more cause if your kids or your family see this in the future….if i can go back to thailand i really want to stop this..i love you all but you have to stop right now please…
    my name is lat,im just 16 year old….
    now plaese do the right thing for your family….