A long day of waiting, with calm.
The verdict began being read at 13:00 and ended just after 20:00- former PM Thaksin lost Thb46.36 billion of the Thb76.6 billion that had been frozen, ruling that Thb46.36 billion was gained illegally through conflicts of interest. But, Thaksin was allowed to keep over Thb30 billion as the Supreme Court said “to seize all the money would be unfair since some of it was made before Thaksin became prime minister.”
Bangkok is very calm. Security has been very tight, the ruling was read on all TV channels, but pictures of the judges were not shown. Police and military were out in force, in major traffic points throughout Bangkok with major security around the government buildings and court.
It seems most people stayed inside for the verdict, the calm at 7:00 p.m. on a Friday night was noticeable.
The party that was expected to rally against the verdict- the “red shirts” of the UDD party- didn’t rally in force. They had a “camp” set up and did protest, but no large crowds or disturbances. The UDD will have a large rally from March 12-14 and are planning to draw 1,000,000 for that rally.
It appears the large rally and protests didn’t take place after this ruling due to the current government and military clearly showing their organization, power and ability to control a protest. Instead of follow the money, this was follow the military, and the military clearly has shown they will not tolerate violence in the streets and will back the current administration.
Great news for Thailand, a verdict and no violence- let’s hope this holds through the weekend and March rally.