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Red Shirt Demonstration


henryalleman

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From Times OnlineFebruary 24, 2009

Protesters bring return of political turmoil to Thailand

(Sakchai Lalit/AP)

A monk joins protesters jumping the fence outside the Prime Minister's office in Bangkok

Anne Barrowclough

Thousands of supporters of the ousted Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra surrounded government buildings in Bangkok today calling for fresh elections.

The red-shirted protesters said that they would stage a three-day sit-in to put pressure on Abhisit Vejjajiva, the Prime Minister to dissolve his government.

Demonstrators shouting "We don't want this Government" broke through barbed wire barricades manned by hundreds of police and soldiers and took control of the roads around Government House.

Members of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) have campaigned against the Government since a court dissolved the pro-Thaksin ruling party in December, paving the way for Eton-educated Mr Abhisit to take power.

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One of the protest leaders, Shinawat Haboonpad, said that the "Red Shirts" would stay at Government House "at least until Thursday".

The rally has already forced Mr Abhisit to move today's cabinet meeting to the beach resort of Hua Hin, where he will host a summit of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders from Friday.

Police said that about 10,000 flag-waving protesters dressed in crimson T-shirts had massed outside Government House.

Some demonstrators tried to overturn a police truck before a group carrying hammers and wirecutters managed to get through the huge coils of razor wire that sealed off the main road in front of the building.

Protesters using crowbars also smashed up concrete barricades behind the sprawling complex.

In addition to calling for elections, the protesters are demanding a return to the 1997 constitution and the removal of Kasit Piromya, the Foreign Minister, because of his links to the anti-Thaksin People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) movement.

PAD occupied Government House for about three months last year and seized control of Bangkok's two airports for a week, leaving thousands of tourists stranded. PAD ended the sieges in December, paving the way for Mr Abhisit, the leader of the Democrat Party, to take power in a parliamentary vote.

One of the red shirt leaders, Jatuporn Prompan, said that the protesters would not obstruct the ASEAN summit. "Our activities will be only in Bangkok."

Mr Abhisit said that he was confident security forces would handle the rally peacefully and insisted that he would go to work at Government House tomorrow as usual.

Thailand has endured months of political upheaval, which is rooted in a deep divide between foes and supporters of Mr Thaksin, who remains influential despite living in exile after receiving a prison sentence for corruption.

Mr Thaksin, a telecommunications tycoon and former policeman, is loathed by old power cliques in the military, palace and bureaucracy, who felt threatened by his immense popularity with the rural poor.

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"Some demonstrators tried to overturn a police truck before a group carrying hammers and wirecutters managed to get through the huge coils of razor wire that sealed off the main road in front of the building.

Protesters using crowbars also smashed up concrete barricades behind the sprawling complex."

<deleted>?

Aren't calling prosecution of PAD for exactly the same things?

And their ridiculous demands - if the Constitution is restored to 1997 version, then government is automatically dissolved and Kosit automatically removed.

What exactly do they want? So far it looks like a bad bluff from some b movie about terrorism.

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well, my headlines say it all.

with the redshirts acting as copycats of the PAD and surrounding the goverment buildings, will they soon march to the airports ?

and can the police/military dare to stop them ? if they do try to stop them, is a bloodshed unavoidable ? which will spread all over the kingdom ?

sorry, but I am VERY VERY pessimistic.

what's your opinion ?

thank's in advance for keeping this topic free from polemics

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I would support the UDD to close Swampy for 8 days, an eye for an eye.

However not many people share my view.

Dont get it.

You want your buddies in UDD to do the same as PAD did, and punish another 2-300 000 innocent visitors to this country?

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I think we are on the verge of a power struggle that at its extremes could deliver the following.

Army appointed and entrenched Governemt. This one at least has a large element of popular elected support (hows that from me? Fair or what!). Down the road to Burmese style population control and suppresion of disent.

A true grass roots revolution against this type of behaviour led by the red shirts that could see a major clean out of the Bangkok monied elites and their army generals. This too is bad because these things usually get well out of control as well.

Neither are good for the country and I hope this reconcilliation plan is given more serious consideration by Abhisit that it is at present.

Still hope for democracy to work I would say, and can't imagine it going this far in either direction, but both are possibilities.

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I believe you will be provided with an official notification of around 60 days notice, after which all sides will then be allowed to take off their gloves to begin the realignment of power in earnest. I would advise one to think and act carefully during any period of interregnum.

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I believe you will be provided with an official notification of around 60 days notice, after which all sides will then be allowed to take off their gloves to begin the realignment of power in earnest. I would advise one to think and act carefully during any period of interregnum.

Not sure that's gonna happen, but I heartily agree with your last sentence.

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I would support the UDD to close Swampy for 8 days, an eye for an eye.

However not many people share my view.

I concur that UDD should be allowed a legal 8 day peaceful rally at the airport.

Does this include 8 days with no flights?

Or, just a rally?

If just rally, where would you place 10-20 000 people in order to avoid the visitors being affected?

Surely, as a Journalist you have thought about this.

:o

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The best place for the rally is right outside the departures lounge. The PAD has already shown it is quite feasible to have a peaceful good-spirited rally in this location - and they did not trash or wee wee all over the terminal.

It is AOT's choice whether to cease aviation operations. My recommendation is that they should do same-same before and use U Tapao.

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There is plenty to worry about but yes the military will stop the red shirts if they try to occupy the airport.

I agree, and more importantly I feel UDD know this too. I reckon they represent a significant pressure group but are not powerful enough to cause major disruption - at the highest levels, could be some ground level riots though.

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The best place for the rally is right outside the departures lounge. The PAD has already shown it is quite feasible to have a peaceful good-spirited rally in this location - and they did not trash or wee wee all over the terminal.

It is AOT's choice whether to cease aviation operations. My recommendation is that they should do same-same before and use U Tapao.

Guess we just have to hope and pray it doesnt happen before you are due to travel.

:o

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Although potentially a problem, events such as this do not concern me so much anymore. After all of the PAD stuff this is just a continuation of the same protest that has been going on for so long and so it is a bit of same same but different.

What worries me most, and no doubt the vast majority of people in Thailand, is a specific event that could well happen in the not to distant future.

If/when this event happens then: :o:D

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I think we are on the verge of a power struggle that at its extremes could deliver the following.

Army appointed and entrenched Governemt. This one at least has a large element of popular elected support (hows that from me? Fair or what!). Down the road to Burmese style population control and suppresion of disent.

A true grass roots revolution against this type of behaviour led by the red shirts that could see a major clean out of the Bangkok monied elites and their army generals. This too is bad because these things usually get well out of control as well.

Neither are good for the country and I hope this reconcilliation plan is given more serious consideration by Abhisit that it is at present.

Still hope for democracy to work I would say, and can't imagine it going this far in either direction, but both are possibilities.

What reconciliation plan is that Grandpa? The one proposed by the Charlerm for the sole purpose of whitewashing Thaksin's past crimes and restoring him to power? Yes, if I was Abhisit, I would give that some serious thought..... :o

Neither of your scenarios is likely. What will happen is this. The red shirts will continue to make noise, but as they run out of money, their noises will become fewer and farther between. People will grow to become comfortable having an actual intelligent leader for a change, and Thailand will go on, must as it has this last 1000 years.

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Although potentially a problem, events such as this do not concern me so much anymore. After all of the PAD stuff this is just a continuation of the same protest that has been going on for so long and so it is a bit of same same but different.

What worries me most, and no doubt the vast majority of people in Thailand, is a specific event that could well happen in the not to distant future.

If/when this event happens then: :o:D

Correct all Thai people have nightmares about it.

But I remember when Pope Pius was dying in 1958 I was made believe that the world will come to an end and will stopped turning. And we all know that nothing like that occur.

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From what I saw and heard on TOC news tonight I believe they are very pro Yellow.

Will the BiB and others step in? I believe they will. When it was Yellow doing the same, the law and order sections did not give a toss. Now they denegrate the red shirts for daring to protest.

Civil war? I doubt it. But can see problems ahead if this is not handled correctly.

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From what I saw and heard on TOC news tonight I believe they are very pro Yellow.

Will the BiB and others step in? I believe they will. When it was Yellow doing the same, the law and order sections did not give a toss. Now they denegrate the red shirts for daring to protest.

Civil war? I doubt it. But can see problems ahead if this is not handled correctly.

The impression I had was that the army (and people in high places) supported the yellows and the police had to refrain from cracking skulls because of it.

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The best place for the rally is right outside the departures lounge. The PAD has already shown it is quite feasible to have a peaceful good-spirited rally in this location - and they did not trash or wee wee all over the terminal.

It is AOT's choice whether to cease aviation operations. My recommendation is that they should do same-same before and use U Tapao.

Sure, I was blocked at Swampy in the afternoon of 25th November 2008 between two flights because the PAD blocking the access to the airport. Now how do you think PASSENGERS and CREWS to fly the planes could reach the airport???

NO passengers, NO crews, NO planes can leave, you got that Journalist :o

Can I add to this that the red shirts are demonstrating OUTSIDE government house, not OCCUPYING the place?

And I don't think they will be that stupid to equal or better the damage the yellows did to the economy :D

Edited by tartempion
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the yellows set a fine exapmle , showing that MOB rule can achieve political change without any ill concequences.

so the reds want to give it a go, more power to them. fairs fair.

if it helps pressure the goverment to act to resolve the political problems, then good.

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