Pattaya Daily News

18 March 2010 :: 14:03:55 pm 15965

Following The UDD Sanguinary Sacrifice – The Clarion Call for Change

As the majority of Red Shirt protestors move, perhaps dispiritedly, back up country, analysts are calling the outcome of the UDD rally a victory of the Abhisit Vejjajiva government, with investors and the SET rallying in exaltation that powers-that-be had faced down the protestors, even to the extent of seemingly neutralizing the Brahminical curses by the sprinkling of holy water on the ground by a Democrat representative.
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Bangkok, March 18, 2010, (PDN): With the three blood ‘sacrifices for democracy’ complete (apparently a divergence from Thaksin’s directives), and the up to 100,000 Red Shirts dispersing, even those from Trang who vowed to remain until victory, has the government fallen, are elections imminent, or is Thaksin Shinawatra about to be swept back to power on the backs of his triumphant acolytes? The answer to these three questions is a resounding no, but with significant qualifications!

The mass rally may have failed to achieve its overall objectives, the fall of the government, but the Red Shirts have achieved three crucial triumphs: their images as a force of mindless aggression has been changed to one of a movement intent on Gandhi-like pacifism; they may have gained a modicum of increased solidarity; but most significantly, they have proved to be a force to be reckoned with that had the premier and his staff cowering behind the barricades of the 11th Infantry Regiment compound in Bang Khen, which even led to PM Abhisit apparently ‘fleeing upcountry’, as some commentators have asserted, ostensibly to assess the extent of the drought in the Mekong territory.

“The size of the protest, the show of emotion and discipline, has been impressive, and Thai people will have got the message quite strongly. The tendency to dismiss the ‘Red Shirts’ will diminish from this point on. There’s an upsurge that’s really a lot bigger than people imagined, and anyone who says this protest was a failure is just kidding themselves,” concluded Chris Baker, Reuters reported.

The movement as a whole may still be largely factionalised into four broad groups, namely, the pro-Thaksin, Pheu Thai Party, the “moderate” Red Shirts who protested in Bangkok, the Red hardliners, and the Red “underground” extremists who are capable of creating much bigger trouble than street protests. Nevertheless, as Federico Ferrara, a Political Science Professor from Singapore’s National University was reported as saying, again by Reuters, “A mobilisation of this number of people from the provinces, against a scare-mongering government that did everything in its power to stop them, is somewhat unprecedented,” as well as swaying some of Bangkok’s politically powerful middle classes in the Red Shirt’s favour.

The Red Shirts may even have gained sufficient independence to be no longer merely political instruments of Thaksin’s ‘Grand Design’. As the editor of the Nation, writing for Time-online, asked “Was Mr Thaksin aware of the blood-collection plan, which seemingly came out of the blue and was heavily criticised? If it was not his idea and he did not know about it in advance, then his political apparatus is truly in danger of unravelling.”

Granted the political consciousness of the majority of largely emotional-charged Red Shirts may not have become more acute, but they cannot fail but to appreciate that they have now gained significant political clout; a power to be veritably reckoned with, one with sufficient audacity to question the US supposed tapping of Thaksin’s phone at the US Embassy, as well as the 30 Red Shirts that presented themselves outside the SET this morning, March 18. “The red-shirts are curious because share prices have gone up for several days during the week, despite the mass anti-government rally by the UDD. (Thai stocks rose nearly two percent on Wednesday). It was unusual and we want to know whether Mr Korn (Chatikavanij, Minister Of Finance) had used people’s money to buy shares,” a leader of the group was reported as saying by the Bangkok Post.

The political solidarity of the government is also in danger of fractionalizing, with ominous mention of his main supporters, Newin Chidchob and his Bhum Jai Thai Party, changing sides, as well as calls for Pheu Thai Party politicians to force the dissolution of parliament by resignations en masse. But the ultimate powers-that-be will probably not allow such an eventuality, being too jealous of their power.

Ultimately, the confrontation, at least initially, will be between the old guard, and their core allies, the unelected establishment elite, comprised of big businessmen, royal advisers, army generals and judges, – those that Thaksin calls the ” falling trees” –  against the newly awakened grassroots populace.

But we should take note of what Giles Ji Ungpakorn, in an article in MRzine, has to say “Despite the fact that many commentators try to explain the present conflict as only an elite dispute between Taksin and the conservatives and that it is a dispute between “the old feudal order” fighting back against “the modern capitalist class,” this is not what the conflict is really about.  The missing element in most analyses is the actions of millions of ordinary people.  Thaksin built an alliance with workers and peasants through his pro-poor policies such as the first ever Universal Health Care Scheme and local village funds to develop rural areas.  The Red Shirts like Thaksin, but they are not just being used by him or fighting only for his return. They want real democracy and social justice.”

This is the ultimate outcome of the Red Shirt rally, the balance has shifted over to the masses, responding to the Spirit of the Times  – a clarion call for change that is currently sweeping the planet.

Taliesin Verity
Chief-Reporter
news@pattayadailynews.com

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Lasted news :

Chonburi Province Red Shirts Declare Rally A Success

The Red Shirt movement enjoys a considerable amount of support from the citizens of Chonburi Province, all the way from Bang Saen to Sattahip. Perhaps more significantly, the support cuts across the class divide, being almost equally represented amongst taxi drivers, at one extreme, to prominent business people, at the other.

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.

Blood On Key Bangkok Streets, Albeit From Donations

As the Red Shirts prepare to paint the town red with blood, or at least Government House and two other key locations, Thaksin Shinawatra appears to have vanished, Scarlet Pimpernel-like, with the possibility that he is Montenegro.

Historic Bangkok Rallies Fail to Unseat Thai Government

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is, as ever, adapting a balanced approach to what many see as the ‘Red Menace’. Rather than capitulate to the Red Shirt’s ultimatum that he dissolve the House by noon today, he asks them to consider the other members of society not merely themselves, the grass-roots protesters, saying, however, he is prepared to listen to the Red Shirt’s opinions. “Our objective is not to cling on to our positions. Our objective is to see the country move forward within the principle of righteousness not just for the short term but for the longer term,” the prime minister was reported as saying by the Bangkok Post.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Jack Rames   Category : Thailand News

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