Monday, April 5, 2010

Thai PM Pressured To Take Action

The Reds remained at where they were yesterday , at the Ratchaprasong intersection. Their presence today will be greatly felt by Bangkok folks and businesses as today is a weekday where everyone would either have to go to work or to schools and businesses are suppose to be opened. However many businesses and shopping malls remained closed. The Immigration Bureau HQ was also closed, so were 43 branches of various banks were also closed and a Thai music award ceremony has been cancelled.

With patience running out among the city folks, the PM is now under great pressure to take action against the protesters.

Earlier, police distributed 1000 of dispersal order to the protesters at the Ratchaprasong intersection. The reds were cooperative during the distribution process but when the distribution was completed, their leaders led supporters to tear the order. Meanwhile a group of Reds have gone to the Election Commisson (EC ) building to demand an explaination on the delay case regarding the dissolution of Abhisit's party, Democrat. They wanted to meet one of the 5 EC commissioners but instead the EC sent an official to receive a letter from them prompting the Reds to give a dateline for a meeting or they would seize the EC building. However moments before the dateline was up the Reds leaders made an u-turn and asked the protesters not to "invade" the building but their instructions were not heeded by the protesters. A group of them managed to remove barriers and trepassed ino the building. The leaders asked their supporters to leave the EC building warning that any Reds who remained there would be considered as "a fake Red". EC sent its representatives to hold a discussion with the Reds and vowed to finalize the dissolution case by April 20. The Reds said they would gather in front of the EC building again on the April 20.

( At the Election Commission )

What happened at the EC today might be a prelude of what to be expected from the Reds soon. I wouldn't be suprised if they ended up their protest by seizing the Suvanarbhumi Airport like what happened two years ago by the Yellows. I think it's time for Abhisit to take some action. He has been giving warning that the government would start to take "soft" actions first before moving to "tough" action but after almost a month of protest, he has yet to take even a "soft action". The government seek warrant of arrest for the Reds leaders today but the warrants are merely just some papers if the government refuse to arrest anyone. The police already had a warrant to arrest one of the leaders a few weeks ago but till today he is still leading the Reds.

In the latest development, the Reds received a morale boosting victory when the civil court rejected government's injunction request against them. They said they would march through 11 routes throughout Bangkok tomorrow ( a holiday in Thailand tomorrow ) without disrupting traffic or stopping anywhere. They also said they would continue their protest during the Songkran festival and would celebrate the Thai New Year festival at their rally site.

At the same time, the Reds are smart. They encourage parents to bring their children to the rally so that these children can be used as "shields". No civilised government would take action like using water cannons or tear gas at a crowd with children. The government should start taking action by arresting the core leaders. Most of the protesters are nice and innocent people who are paid to attend the rally , they don't deserve to be arrested. It is really the time to take action otherwise the credibility of Abhisit's leadership will be questioned by more Thais.

Faces of the protesters

Tourist were having a good time, something that they would never get to experience back in their countries, a protest cum carnival. Perhaps they do come to Bangkok at the right time.