Thailand ready to kick off again.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Command_doh, Mar 7, 2010.

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  1. Command_doh

    Command_doh LE Book Reviewer

    Thailand is due to have a mass public demonstration next weekend. Basically the UDD - ousted PM Thaksin's proxy in Thailand after he fled to Dubai/serves as Cambodian special economic advisor - are 'protesting until 'Abhiset (current PM) resigns and the Cabinet is dissolved'.

    Basically, Thaksin and his supporters are paying their minions to mass protest the fact that he was ousted and the 'yellow shirts' (Abhiset and the minority of rich and upper class in Thailand) took over after the Coup that kicked the corrupt one out whilst he was in New York.

    Thaksin (despite being a corrupt and odious little man, and former Man City owner :D ) is trying to engineer his return to power in Thailand, and people in the know are aware that this is always bubbling below the surface. This was due to kick off last November but King Bhumibol (reverred and loved by most Thai's) came out of hospital and told everyone to calm down. Which they did. The last time things got really bad was last March/April where the ASEAN conference was raided in Pattaya (I was there for that) and there were mass protests in Bangkok afterwards (I was there for that too...). Before that Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport was held 'hostage' by Red shirts (Thaksin supporters) for about 2 weeks during the end of 2008.

    Now, ahead of next weeks Mass protest (the Government are expected to inact special civil emergency legislation for dealing with the expected turnout), the Army have just admitted that they have LOST 6,000 weapons in a theft from the restive Southern regions. And they KEPT IT QUIET for 3 days.

    I arrive in Bangkok on the morning of the 12th.

    Sh1t seems to be following me around in that country :evil:

    I would be interested in hearing from any expats out there and get a measure for the issue at hand. I am fecking off to a beach Island, so hopefully can avoid the sh1t storm, but I need to actually GET THERE first!
  2. I and my wife have just returned from 2 weeks in Thailand; 2 days BKK, 3 days Chiang Mai and 11 days in Ko Samui. It was a great time and I am afraid we adopted the typical tourist's attitude and concentrated purely on our own personal enjoyment.

    The local English language papers were commenting on possible problems but we did not bother to find out what they are.
  3. Command_doh

    Command_doh LE Book Reviewer

    Fair play, I understand that the average person just wants to have a good time, kick back and do the touristy thing. If nothing else, this could just be a heads up to anyone heading out there. I'm not too worried personally, but I could do without them storming the airport and shutting it down like Winter 2008!

    Anyways, standby for reports of violence and such like on next weekends news if it goes sour.

    Last April they had a goon family from bumpkinshire upon Thames crying on national TV about live rounds being blatted over the protesters heads. The chogies stole and torched a load of buses, blockaded roads and somehow (fcuk knows what throbber was on driver duty that day) managed to steal a police APC.

    Anyway, in the run up to this thing there have been grenade attacks, bomb scares and general "smash happyness" after Thaksin had over £1 billion of his assets seized due to his shady business dealings and infamous theft of public funds. Bizarrely, the impoverished still see him as their champion...

    True, true. But this could be a big one. They mince about a lot, and Military Coups are a bit of a national pasttime, but for the past few years it s been a lot of hot air. Don't like the idea of loads of yabba - headed Thai redshirts running around with M4's and automatic weapons though personally - especially if I'm quite local!
  4. Thaksins faction probably have the support of the majority of the population, away from Bangkok. The Thai establishment have run the country as they like for the last 80 years or so, then Thaksin, who is not of the establishment managed to get elected. He is corrupt (default setting for a Thai politician), but promised the ordinary people a lot and delivered a fair amount. Therefore they re-elected him for a second term. This really pissed the establishment off so they staged a coup. After a year of (incompetent) military rule the Army changed the constitution, held elections and still managed to end up with Thaksins party back in power! The courts then dismissed the government on dodgy grounds, and the current guy Abhisit was installed a year ago, with the Armys backing.

    The Thai people are pissed off, but they are unlikely to rise in mass revolt. The Reds (Thaksins faction) have several times called for massive peoples power demos, and only a few thousand have turned up. I suspect next weekend will be the same.

    The Thai Army is not the most competent of military organisations. Huge number of Generals, (promoted largely due to connections with the right people), very little combat experience, and most of the troops are conscripts with little training and no interest. Much of the real operations (southern insurgency and facing off the Cambodians) is contracted out to what they call rangers, a sort of paramilitary militia made up of ex regulars.

    As for the weapons thefts, incredibly (but probably true) it was most likely an inside job by a group within the Army, with the intention to flog them on the black market! They are probably on their way to Burma as you read this!

    It is an amazing country. Nice place to live though.
  5. Command_doh

    Command_doh LE Book Reviewer

    I like the bit where the majority of the impoverished (from Isaan invariably) were told about 30 Bht healthcare and 'approved Government loans' but didn't read the bit about the Farm repossesions when they couldn't pay the loans back. And who had a massive stake in those companies? Oh, Thaksin. This is the same guy who owned the largest media conglomerate whilst PM, cutting all sorts of favourable deals, taking kick backs and getting tax breaks? The same guy who's aides were observed taking suitcases full of public money onto various aircraft, after he was ousted by Royal Approval due to mass discontent?

    Didn't he even fail the 'person of proper character test' after he bought Man City? Had to sell it on or something? Doesn't he have to stay in Cambodia and the U.A.E in order to avoid the various arrest warrants on him? I know that he is persona non grata in the UK. Can't really understand why he 'fled' from Thailand to the U.K. after he knew he was ousted from power whilst visiting the U.N. in New York? Perhaps he liked us better, who knows...?

    You are probably right about the weapons though. Could just be using the protests as a smoke screen to turn a tidy profit.

    For all its faults and crazy practices (the locals don't know what vehicle insurance is, drink driving is the norm rather than the exception, unlicensed firearms are commonplace, coppers take bribes on the roads, and health and safety is non - existent), I love the place!
  6. mattyw

    mattyw Old-Salt Reviewer