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Post Info TOPIC: Thai Protests Explained - 2010

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Thai Protests Explained - 2010

I came across this article written by an American (Al Parker)   it's a interesting persepctive and somewhat convincing .. I have copied the article ...
To read general info about Modern History (Politics) of Thailand .. visit our website ...
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follow article by Al Parker....

No, I’m not really going to explain all the ins and out of the current Thai political melodrama: That would be very presumptuous — and very boring — of me, don’t you think?


What I am going to do is give you some basic information so you can follow the flow of the game yourself — it’s sort of like cricket, except people die once in a while — usually when someone screws up.

But it is being played for very high stakes.

The one really important — as in selfish — one thing for Farang (Foreigners) to know is that tourists are not targets in all of this. It’s a family affair and both sides know how important the tourism industry is to Thailand’s economy.

So if you’re thinking of going to Thailand, go. It’s a beautiful, amazing country and you will have a fabulous time — as long as protesters don’t shut down the main airports.

And that seems very unlikely this time around. I know, I know. It did happen about a year ago — and I was very surprised: It was so un-Thai-like to be that inhospitable to guests.

But it was a pressure point that worked and the protesters who shut down the airports a year ago are now the government. So why won’t it happen again?

First, let me tell you who the two sides are.

You’ve got Team Yellow and Team Red.

Yellow is the colour of royalty in Thailand and, even though Bhumibol, the King of Thailand, is “above politics” and legally above any form of criticism in Thailand — yellow is the colour of the royalist faction — and the military, and the social, economic and educational urban elite that has run the country since absolute monarchy was abolished by a military coup about 80 years ago.

Still, the aged and ailing king — the longest-serving monarch in the world — is revered (almost as a god, by some), is legally protected from any sort of criticism or denigration (God help you if you tear a piece of money with his face on it in Thailand), is the largest personal charitable benefactor in the country, and holds enormous moral sway over everything that happens in the country.

Yet he’s old and dying. His presumptive heir, a playboy prince who has made a lot of fairly serious mistakes in his life, is held in contempt by a goodly portion of the Thai population and is considered to be uncrownable. The king has several very able and public-spirited daughters. There are various political problems with them – like the best and brightest being married to an American, of all things — so there’s a real problem with succession after Bhumibol dies. And that’s going to happen any day or week or month or year now.

Yet the urban elite, the bureaucratic monolith (including the court system), the economic insiders, the vast body of minor Thai aristocrats and — most importantly — the army cling to the torch of monarchy as the shining moral light that gives them the right to do virtually anything to cling to power.

And that group, at the moment, is the government. Fifteen months ago, when I was in Thailand, they were the protesters, occupying the prime minister’s official compound for months, fighting with police in the streets and calling on the world to witness the brutality of the incumbent government.

At that time, in October 2008, the government was Team Red.

So who’s Team Red?

Team Red is composed of supporters of deposed populist prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Thaksin is a self-made man, a poor boy done good from the impoverished northeast of Thailand who first became a billionaire in telecom and high-tech industries and then wove a vast array of squabbling opposition parties into a unified, coherent political force that took on the royalist elite — and won.

Of course that couldn’t be allowed to happen. The army overthrew him (while he was out of the country, so he got exile instead of a bullet in the head, not that Thais would do things that way) and the courts took over from there – first finding him (and his wife) guilty in absentia of a host of crimes and then seizing most of his assets in Thailand.

But when the next elections were held — son of a gun — Thaksin’s political surrogate was elected prime minister and the elite was out of power again.

Thaksin spends a lot of his own (remaining) money to be popular, but there is genuine, earned support for the man in impoverished northern parts of the country that felt neglected by the Bangkok elite before Thaksin started giving them schools and medical clinics and roads and sewer systems.

So Thaksin was overthrown by the military, a royalist regime was put in office by the military (who got burned the last time they took direct political power a decade earlier), new elections were held, and Thaksin’s side won the popular vote again.

Then Team Yellow began a campaign to force out Thaksin’s Team Red and won (mainly because the military stood aside but told the Team Red government not to use its power to quell the Team Yellow protests — even when it came to shutting down airports and stranding thousands of tourists — strangling the lifeblood of Thailand’s economy).

So now Team Yellow is in power and Team Red is bringing hundreds of thousands of supporters into Bangkok to stage protests.

The difference is, Team Red will not shut down the airports or resort to violent measures (although provocateurs may try to incite violence.)

Why? Because Team Red knows that time is on their side. King Bhumibol , bless his lovely soul, will die someday and then Team Yellow will no longer have a revered demi-god to hang their right-to-govern hook on.

That’s the point at which it comes down to the raw, naked reality of populist upstarts and their majority rural and urban poor supporters versus the established elite backed by the might of Thailand’s military.

The Thai generals have established juntas before but have been badly burned by their political and economic clumsiness. They are reluctant to seize direct power again.

I believe Team Red will eventually resume power after the death of Bhumibol takes the wind out of Team Yellow’s sails – but the Thai military will extract a high price for allowing political evolution to happen.

I must tell you right now, I like and admire people on both sides of this issue — issue’s a polite word for almost-civil-war.

Thais are, in general, a people of enormous culture, gentility, courtesy, generosity and hospitality. A ferocious bandito-looking guy with a cigarette dangling from his lip will turn out to be a gentle farmer and a most gracious host.

I believe the Thais will work this out. It’s in their nature and in their self-interest. On the other hand, I never believed the Thai economic elite would sanction the shutting down of their nation’s airports to force the last change of government.


Here's a link to a blog post I did about walking into the heart of a Thai almost-civil -war in October 2008. At that time, Team Red was the government and Team Yellow was the protesters.

The most important thing to remember, if you’re a tourist, is that nobody’s out to get you. You’re not a target.

You’re not part of the equation. In 2008, even as Thais were dying, I was treated kindly and courteously in an urban combat zone and the only thing people kept saying to me was, “Tell the world what is happening.”                 link to the original article - click here 




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          Bangkok Story :  Student , People, Official and carriers sell of goods and services trade in the Bangkok area.  Affected by such conditions and impact on economy.  But businesses sell goods and services outside Bangkok.  Economic growth during this event.  Because tourist to change travel out Bangkok to places other.  Such Pattay, Phuket and regions of Thailand.  So You can come here or travel or do business in Bangkok safely.   You not stay at areas with an event.  You can travel Pattaya and Phuket and regions of Thailand safely.   Don’t  Worry be Happy

         กรุงเทพฯ  ประชาชน นักศึกษา ข้าราชการตลอดจนผู้ประกอบการค้าขายสินค้า และบริการ ในพื้นที่กรุงเทพฯ ได้รับผลกระทบจากสถานการณ์ดังกล่าว  อีกทั้งส่งผลกระทบต่อเศรษฐกิจของประเทศ  แต่ธุรกิจขายสินค้าและบริการนอกพื้นที่กรุงเทพฯ เศรษฐกิจเจริญเติบโตในช่วงเกิดเหตุการณ์  เนื่องจากนักท่องเที่ยวเปลี่ยนแปลงการเดินทางท่องเที่ยวที่กรุงเทพฯ ไปสถานที่ที่ท่องเที่ยวอื่นแทน เช่น พัทยา ภูเก็ต และภูมิภาคอื่นของประเทศไทย  ดังนั้น คุณสามารถเดินทางมาทำธุรกิจหรือท่องเที่ยวในกรุงเทพฯ ได้อย่างปลอดภัย โดยไม่อยู่หรืออาศัยในพื้นที่ที่มีเหตุการณ์ดังกล่าว.  และคุณสามารถเดินทางท่องเที่ยวพัทยาหรือภูเก็ต หรือภูมิภาคอื่นๆ ได้อย่างปลอดภัย


-- Edited by wanphen on Saturday 24th of April 2010 05:13:34 PM

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