Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bangkok Riots - Update 21st February 2014

Politically, Thailand is in a mess. It is a country without a functioning Government. They have a care-taker Prime Minister in Yingluck Shinawatra, the sister of exiled former premier Thaksin Shinawatra. Anti-government protesters have been rallying (or rioting as some would call it) since November 2013 trying to force Yingluck to resign. They think her departure will pave the way for a People’s Council that will implement reforms of public interest. High up the agenda is the issue of corruption. Yingluck’s administration has refused point blank to step down arguing the need to protect the democratic process. Instead it has imposed a state of emergency and went ahead with an election on 2nd February 2014.
This election was boycotted by many so the stalemate is set to continue. To the Western observer it is hard to make sense of it all. There is almost a festival atmosphere in the protesters camps but this turned nasty on 18th February when the police tried to clear them from the streets. Five were killed and many more injured.
The problem is you are either a democracy or not – there is no half-way house. And this is what Suthep Thanugsuban and his People’s Democratic Reform Committee wants. Somehow he wants a non-political body to engineer change. The photograph below is the place where a hand grenade exploded and killed two children.

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