Red Shirts In Bangkok- May 1, 2010

The PM of Thailand was on the BBC show Hardtalk, a brief video of how uncomfortable it was: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/hardtalk/8648639.stm

He continued to say that “things are getting better”. Really? This is better:

The Corner of Witthayu Road and Sukhumvit- April 12

The Corner of Witthayu and Sukhumvit- May 1

Sorry PM, but that is comedy.

Corner of Witthaya and Sukhumvit- May 1

Thai people- at least in Bangkok- appear to be growing very tired of the protest, the threat of crackdowns by the military, threats of violence from the Red Shirts (a hospital was stormed by the Red Shirts last night) and the middle of Bangkok looking like a jungle fortress.

The Red Shirts appear to have lost the momentum, their numbers are dwindling rapidly. It is very hot, the protesters are tired, scared about a crackdown and want to go home. There was a scuffle between some of the Red Shirts today after they were told by their leaders to tear down a barricade and refused. The government/military won the only face to face fight this week.

The telling sign about the protest- people are not joining the Red Shirts and are tiring of the current climate. The yellow shirts took to the streets as the “multi colored” shirts, causing a major escalation in tension about clashes between the shirt colors. The yellow shirts stopped their protest- a sure sign the government is feeling they have the momentum.

The Red Shirts felt they have been targeted and are no longer wearing Red Shirts, the fashion of protests.

A theory that I support- the government doesn’t want to end this protest. Why? If a snap election was called, the government would probably have lost as of just 2 weeks ago. Now, with the Red Shirts found with weapons, causing major traffic disruptions, being made to look as if they are seeking violence and storming hospitals, the government has a good chance of winning a snap election. The longer the protest goes, the better the possibility? Why else would the Yellow Shirts abandon the protest and the military not storm the Red Shirts fortress?

The Red Shirts appear to be pushing for a major confrontation with the military, police and government as this would force both the military and police to show where their support lies. The government continues to avoid this, saying the Red Shirts are heavily armed, entrenched (that is true) and there would be numerous casualties.Well done by the government, make the Red Shirts strength a weakness.

We are back to a stare fight taking place in air conditioned rooms while people swelter on the streets and struggle to go about their daily routines due to disruptions in public transportation and street closures.

All the while life outside the occupied zone continues as normal, Thai people smiling and apologizing to foreigners for what is happening and asking us to be careful. Unfortunately for Thailand there are fewer foreigners to greet as tourism is off by over 25%. The foreigners here have the constant “WTF?” look when seeing the barricades for the first time.

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About faranginbangkok

Additional pictures: http://www.tumblr.com/blog/faranginbangkok For more updates about Bangkok, Thailand and other thoughts: www.twitter.com/lilrichardb I began working in Bangkok during 2008- a time that featured a great deal of political unrest in Thailand and particularly Bangkok. I had lived in San Francisco for 15 years and was working on a project in Thailand. Generally I spent 2 weeks in Bangkok and then 3-4 weeks in San Francisco. Did Bangkok begin to feel like home? Yes, and No. Bangkok and the Thai culture forced me to feel many things, the change in culture and environment was so dramatic it forced the decision- embrace or ignore. I embraced and made Bangkok my home and base in 2009. I have enjoyed living in Bangkok, experiencing Thailand and the entire ASEAN region.
This entry was posted in Bangkok, Politics, Thailand and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Red Shirts In Bangkok- May 1, 2010

  1. Pingback: Red Shirts In Bangkok- May 1, 2010 « Bangkok – Here and Now « Bangkok hot news and trend

  2. Nice city, actually I like phuket

    wire

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