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Pattaya Daily News

17 March 2010 :: 13:03:22 pm 15879

Final Blood Sacrifice Faces Fresh Tension In Bangkok

Having made their bloody protest outside the Democrat Party head-quarters yesterday evening Tuesday, 16 March 2010, at 6:45 pm. the Red Shirts are converging on Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s residence in Soi Sukhumvit 31 to make their third and final gesture, this morning.
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Bangkok, March 17, 2010, [Pattaya Daily News]: religious forces added to the Red Shirt protest outside the Democrat Party HQ, with a Brahmin cursing the party. This expression of dire malevolence will be repeated as the Red Shirts rally outside PM Abhisit’s home later today.

This morning gridlock has been produced along Sukhumvit Road, with the advance party of 2,000 Red Shirts arriving to begin drenching the entrance to the premier’s home in their third attempt to force the government to stand down. Tensions and police alert levels have been raised to near fever pitch, but there is a police negotiating team set to intervene and attempt to pour oil, rather than blood, on the troubled waters, so to speak. Jatuporn Promphan, one of the UDD core leaders, declared that the Red Shirts had already coordinated with police to help clear a passage for them to rally at Mr Abhisit’s residence.

“We will move out at about 10am, not at 9am as previously planned, in order to avoid traffic congestion problem which will cause trouble for Bangkokians. Our convoy is expected to arrive at Mr Abhisit’s home at noon”, a core leader of the United front for Democracy against dictatorship (UDD), Weng Tochairakarn was reported as saying by the Bangkok Post.

This apparently is still due to go ahead, despite a three-day ban having been put on prohibiting any political activities in front of the premier’s residence in Sukhumvit Soi 31 by Deputy Prime Minister for security affairs Suthep Thaugsuban, under the auspices of the Internal Security Act.

Meanwhile, the Thai populace’s reaction to the Red Shirt protest is mixed. Many commentators seek to point out that the Red Shirt movement is not a coherent one, unified by ideology and a single purpose, but the sum of many factions, each with different agendas. A significant number of the protestors are drawn solely for financial reasons, according to a respondent to the BBC, Nana Angsanunt, a student from Esarn, and the fact that one million people are protesting “means one million people not working – that’s bad for the economy.” This opinion is endorsed by another BBC respondent Buntoon Wongseelashote, a Bangkok textile businessman, who stated “I have employees from the North who asked me for time off work so that they can take part in protests. They told me it was an opportunity to make extra money.”

The blood sacrifice didn’t appeal either to Nana Angsanunt, who said “If they want to donate blood, why not donate it to people who need it?” She also apparently thinks a return to power by Thaksin would be disastrous for the country. Nana said further “I think that would be catastrophic for Thailand as the yellow-shirts will come back and this will lead to lots of violence and possibly a civil war.” Buntoon Wongseelashote appeared to agree, calling Thaksin “incredibly corrupt” and saying further “I don’t support the protesters because their demands are nonsensical. They think that the current government is not legitimate. That’s nonsense – the manner [Prime Minister]Abhisit came to power is the same as his two predecessors – Samak and Somchai. Nobody questioned them, so why now?” the BBC reported.

On the pro side, Woraphant Chontong, Bangkok, another BBC respondent, whilst agreeing that the Red Shirt movement is factionalized, asserted “Some are fighting for ex-PM Thaksin but many of them are fighting for real democracy and their demands have nothing to do with Thaksin. They’ve been oppressed by Thai elites for a long time and they cannot bear it anymore.”

Pueyka from Bangkok again supported this view, saying “We have the intention to take Thailand out from the crisis, lack of democracy and diminished human rights. Military dictators still maintain their power by using guns and by intervening in politics. The oppression they’ve caused has overwhelmed Thai people,” the BBC reported.

Harsh critic of the regime, Giles Ji Ungpakorn, in an article in MRzine had this to say “Calling fresh elections will not solve this problem.  However, the massive turnout of Red Shirts from Bangkok and the provinces is an important step forward.  The vast majority of Red Shirts are poor people, both urban and rural, and the Red Shirt leaders are at last talking openly about a “class struggle” between the people and the elites.  They need to go further and agitate among the urban working class and the lower ranks of the army in order to build up the momentum for revolutionary change.  Any compromise will retain the power of the royalist elites who have constantly frustrated democracy…… But the real question facing the movement is how to seize state power.”

Taliesin Verity

Photo : Jack Rames   Category : Thailand News

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