Saturday, March 27, 2010

Protest In Thailand Continues

Protest to demand the resignation of Prime Minister and the disoluttion of parliament continues in Thailand today. The protest started with more than 60,000 protesters marching peacefully in Bangkok but moved to blood splashing on government buildings the very next day. A week later, protesters used a new startegy, parading in downtown Bangkok in thousands of vehicles. As the momentum of the protest slows down, the leaders of the protesters are using a different approach in their protest today. The estimated number of protesters today is 80000, a significant increase from last week's figure.

No longer will they march in mass in the city but will instead gather at some strategic places to gain support from the locals and the army. Red-shirts will rally at eight locations in Bangkok where soldiers are deployed on standby, and pressure them to return to their barracks. The reds will engage in friendly talks with the soldiers and persuade them to return to the barracks and invite them to join the other protesters to fight for "democracy". The eight locations are the Dusit Zoo, Pranakorn Commercial College, Nang Loeng race course and 5 temples in the city.

One of the protesters' leaders said " If soldiers refuse to leave, then the red-shirts would use their bare hands to remove the barbed wire and concrete barricades around the venues, go inside and walk them out:.

Meanwhile, the Center for the Center for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO) stated it is impossible for red-shirt protesters to demand that the soldiers be called back to their barracks. CAPO explained that these military officials have been deployed to maintain peace and ensure the safety of the general public and the protesters.

( Protesters in front of the race course )

Soldiers leaving their checkpoints but were replaced by the police. Protesters cheered as the soldiers were retreating

Meanwhile the Education Ministry relocates high school entrance exams away from 12 schools in the inner Bangkok areas tomorrow

After scoring a psychological victory by "forcing" soldiers to leave a few checkpoints, the reds are getting "excited". Now a big group of them are already at the Government House. They give the soldiers an ultimatum " leave the Government House by 6pm or that would take action ".

( I was astonished looking at these photos ( in sequence ). The police ( police guarded outside the compound while the soldiers inside the compound ) just stood there and watch as the protesters were removing the barricades and cutting the barbed wires in front of the Government House. I think this only happens in Thailand. In other countries, i don't think protesters would even be allowed to get near the barricades. Personally i am not sure if that was the right move by the government but it seemed like the protesters were trying to provoke the government to take action against them and at the same time are getting bolder )

Latest news

- the government has decided not to withdraw the troops from the government house and would use lawful means to disperse the crowd when the needs arise.
- a bomb exploded in front of the army run TV station Channel 5, 2 soldiers and 2 civilians were injured
- the reds decided to leave the Government House and concentrate on their next gathering which is at the 11 Infantry Army Based tomorrow.

When i was browsing verious sites for info on this protest, i found something very interesting. A westerner said " Thailand introduces itself abroad as The Land Of Smiles and it is only in Thailand that we can see even the demonstrators put up a smile on their faces ". Very true indeed.