Thai Politics – Not a Bore
Background on Thailand. All From Wikipedia so dont think I am plagiarizing – I am not. Simply copying and pasting
Samek Sundaravej, in 1973 ran a prominent month-long propagansa campaign, accussing democratic students movements of being communist rebellions, traitors and spies. The event ended in massacre of hundreds of students at Thammasat University on October 14th 1973.
Sundaravej was replaced by PPP member Somchai Wongsawat. As of October 2008, Wongsawat was unable to gain access to his offices, which was occupied by protesters from the People’s Alliance for Democracy. On December 2, 2008, Thailand Constitutional Court found the ruling Peoples Power Party guilty of electoral fraud, which led to the dissolution of the party according to the law.
After defections from smaller parties, the opposition Democrats Party was able to form a government, a first for the party since 2001. The leader of the Democrat party, and former leader of the opposition, Abhisit Vejjajiva was appointed and sworn-in as the 27th Prime Minister, together with the new cabinet on 17 December 2008.
Since the rise of the new government of Abhisit, Thaksin’s loyalists vowed to oppose it. in April 2009, Thaksin’s supporters, known as ‘The Red Shirts’, began its huge anti-government demonstration in Bangkok aiming at the resignation of the Prime Minister. From April 8 2009, the demonstrators spread their activities to signifincat locations such as main intersections. The streets were also blocked and barricaded. The demonstration took place at the same time of the ASEAN summit in Pattaya. The demonstrators also moved to protest, aiming at barring the summit, but eventually a handful of protestors stormed the hotel causing its cancellation.
In Bangkok, the protest became fiercer because of the arrest of the leaders of the Pattaya protest and in the afternoon, the premier Abhisit, declared that State of Emergency. The protestors blocked the entrance of the Ministry, aiming at ‘seizing’ the premier and other ministrers however the premier could escape. IN the alte afternoon, the government briefed the situation. The government began to deploy anti-riot troops. Armor Vehicles were seen in Downtown bangkok without a clear reason. The anti-riot troops armed with shields, batons, and M-16 guns, said with paper bullets, started dispersing the protestors on the Bangkok streets. Clashes were seen in major streets, but only two men were found dead related to the riot. On the major avenues and streets in the metropolitan, burning buses were seen as well as wounded people were carried to the hospitals, no serious cases were reported however. The protestors of the People’s Alliance for Democracy took seige of Bangkok’s international airport in hopes of finding out information about the Prime Ministers flights, since they wanted him to step down from his position. Everything ended peacefully a few days later but with nothing resolved.
So a bunch of people are in Thai Politics Class right now. Apparently the Red Shirts are rising again, and the teacher said to watch in the coming weeks for riots around Thammasat and surrounding again. A major issue now is also that The King of Thailand has been sick for the last little while. The King is everything to the Thai People, They are extremely upset that he is in teh hospital right now – and it is VERY dangerous for foreigners to speak of the King and the royal family, since if anything negative is said about them, there is jail time associated to that! If your money blows in the wind and you go to step on it – you can go to jail for that since the Kings face is on the money. But Since the King has been sick, there is question of the Royal Successor. The King has a son and daughter. Nobody really likes the son here, but of course that cannot be said outloud, while the daughter is dearly loved by all, locally and internationally, she is a prominant figure in global thai politics, speaks many languages, and is a generally nice person. But typically, as most monarchys work, the son is the next in line. Thing to worry about though, and so I’ve been told, is that if the son becomes King, there is word of him being hurt, by others, to dethrone him (dont want to say the correct word), but I know nothing of it since Thai people will speak nothing of the sort negative about him, and of course it would be extremely dangerous for me to ask them. So this is what I have heard from other students in that professors class. But yes, I have to watch out apparently for Protests and Riots in the next few weeks around MY University. But I see the riots as meaning vacation time for me, but who knows.