More anti government protests in Thailand

From British daily The Morning Star:

Ousted Thai premier calls for revolution

Sunday 12 April 2009

UNSTOPPABLE: Anti-government demonstrators surrounding the motorcade of the Thai prime minister.

OUSTED Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra called for a revolution on Sunday after rioting erupted in the capital Bangkok.

Protesters commandeered public buses and swarmed triumphantly over military vehicles in unchecked defiance after the government declared a state of emergency.

The emergency decree bans gatherings of more than five people, forbids news reports which are considered threatening to public order and allows the government to call up military troops to quell unrest. …

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s government suffered a major humiliation on Saturday when it failed to stop hundreds of demonstrators from storming the venue of a 16-nation Asian summit, forcing its cancellation and the evacuation of the leaders by helicopter.

There were signs yesterday that the government might not be able to contain the protesters again. ..

Demonstrators from the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship say that Mr Abhisit’s four-month-old government took power illegitimately and want new elections.

They also accuse the country’s elite – the military, judiciary and other unelected officials – of undermining democracy by interfering in politics.

Protests were also reported in areas of northern and north-eastern Thailand, with one group threatening to blockade the main bridge linking Laos and Thailand across the Mekong river.

See also here.

Thailand’s conflict is no game of simple political allegiances: it is a growing class war between the country’s poor and the old elites: here.

THAI soldiers have fired live rounds into the air and have used tear gas to clear anti-government demonstrators blocking central Bangkok, wounding at least 77: here.

Anti-government protestors clash with soldiers in Thai capital: here.

Thai authorities crack down on protesters amid new year holiday: here.

Thailand: Army crackdown aims to silence ‘Red Shirts’: here.

Who are the key players in Thailand? Here.

The lessons of Thailand’s political upheaval: here.

Ongoing differences between Thailand’s shaky coalition government and the military were highlighted by an attack on a mosque in the country’s unstable southern region on June 8: here.

11 thoughts on “More anti government protests in Thailand

  1. Thailand: Red Shirt democratic movement faces armed might of the
    ruling elites

    By Giles Ji Ungpakorn, Turn Left Thailand
    April 13, 2009 — For the fourth time in forty years, troops have opened
    fire on pro-democracy demonstrators in Bangkok. Each time, the aim has
    been the same: to protect the interests of the conservative elites who
    have run Thailand for the past 70 years.
    For those watching, it may be tempting just to assume that the present
    chaos is merely about different coloured T-shirts and supporters of
    different political parties, as though they were mirror images of each
    other. This is not the case.

    * Read more


  2. Emergency rule won’t be lifted

    Thailand: Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva announced on Wednesday that he will not lift emergency rule in Bangkok, which he imposed on April 12 in the face of mass anti-government protests.

    Opposition MP Chaiya Phromma accused the government of inflaming the political crisis, arguing that nothing was done to crack down on rival protesters last year.


  3. Thailand: Why have NGOs sided with the royalists, against democracy
    and the poor?

    By Giles Ji Ungpakorn
    April 27, 2009 — In the present political crisis in Thailand, it is
    shocking that most Thai NGOs have disgraced themselves by siding with
    the “Yellow Shirt” elites or have remained silent in the face of the
    general attack on democracy. It is shocking because NGO activists
    started out by being on the side of the poor and the oppressed in
    society. To explain this situation, we must go beyond a simple
    explanation that relies on personal failings of individuals or
    suggestions that NGOs have “underlying bad intentions”, or that they are
    “agents of imperialism”.

    * Read more


  4. Jun 27, 12:26 PM EDT

    Thousands of anti-govt protesters mass in Bangkok

    Associated Press Writer

    BANGKOK (AP) — Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra attacked the government’s handling of the economy Saturday and told thousands of cheering supporters not to abandon the fight for democracy in one of the largest demonstrations to hit the kingdom in months.

    More than 30,000 supporters braved heavy rains in Bangkok to hear the media tycoon, who addressed the crowd via telephone link from what he said was an undisclosed location near the Thai border. The enthusiastic reception reinforced Thaksin’s political strength and indicated the return of the “red shirt” movement that supports him.

    The United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship – known as the red shirts – was silenced in April by threats of a government crackdown following days of street clashes and riots that left at least two dead and more than 120 injured.

    Protest leaders said they are continuing to call for Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s resignation, the dissolution of parliament, and new elections.

    “We come here because we want to see true democracy,” Thaksin told the crowd. “We loathe injustice. We loathe double standards. We’re here to say if you want us to stop, then return justice and true democracy.”

    Thaksin also complained that he was lonely and serenaded the crowd with a song that included the line “Don’t leave me in Dubai” – a reference to one of the cities he has called home since he fled into exile last year after being convicted of corruption.

    “Are you going to bring me back red shirts?” he asked. “I’m a grateful person. When I’m back, I’ll work for the people right away.”

    Police mobilized 3,000 security officers and warned the red shirts not to block Abhisit’s office, as it did for several weeks in March and April. But protest leaders said they had no plans to march to Government House and there was no indication the crowd was leaving the soggy Sanam Luang field in central Bangkok.

    “We want to overthrow the government which has been set up by the establishment,” protest leader Jatuporn Phromphan told the crowd. “We want the dissolution of parliament. We will insist on our demands no matter how long it takes.”

    The protesters accuse the country’s elite – the military, judiciary and other unelected officials – of undermining the country’s democracy and orchestrating a 2006 coup, in which Thaksin was ousted.

    Thaksin’s allies remained in power in the two successive governments, but were stymied by “yellow shirt” protesters and separate charges of conflict of interest and fraud, that were held up in court rulings.

    The yellow shirts – who took to the streets last year shuttering Bangkok’s two main airports – argue that voters in Thaksin’s rural base are too easily bought.

    Abhisit cobbled together a coalition after a court disqualified the pro-Thaksin prime minister on complaints of fraud in the 2007 election, ending the yellow shirts’ demonstrations.

    The red shirts responded by launching their own protest in March, but backed down under threat of a military crackdown after their demonstrations became violent.


  5. Thailand: When King Pumipon dies …

    By Giles Ji Ungpakorn
    September 25, 2009 — Many Thais, whether they are royalist “Yellow
    Shirts” or pro-democracy “Red Shirts”, are waiting for King Pumipon
    Adunyadet [often spelled Bhumipol Adulyadej in the Western press] to
    die. It may take years. Their feelings will be different, either
    positive or negative. This is because Pumipon has influenced Thai
    society for years. But the issue to discuss is whether this influence is
    created by others or based on the king’s own power?

    * Read more


  6. Thailand: Comparing the 1976 and 2006 coups

    By Giles Ji Ungpakorn
    October 5, 2009 — People like to say that “history repeats itself, but
    not in exactly the same way”. In some ways, and not others, the military
    coup of the September 19, 2006, was a repeat of the bloodbath and coup
    on October 6, 1976. Circumstances are different, some actors are
    different and some have changed sides. But there are interesting
    comparisons to make.

    * Read more


  7. Thaksin takes on new advisory role

    Cambodia: Thailand’s fugitive ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has arrived in the country following his appointment as economic adviser to the government, fuelling tensions between the neighbouring states.

    Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said he would seek Mr Thaksin’s extradition and announced that his Cabinet had approved ending talks with Phnom Penh on disputed maritime borders.


  8. Who is really avoiding justice in Thailand?

    By Giles Ji Ungpakorn
    February 6, 2010, is the first anniversary of the day I had to leave
    Thailand and seek political exile in Britain. I left Thailand because it
    had become a dictatorship with no regard to international standards of
    justice, democracy or human rights. I was charged with lese majeste for
    writing a book which criticised the illegal military coup in 2006.

    * Read more


  9. Pingback: Thailand military dictators abolish elections | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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