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Old 12-02-2013, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,231,639 times
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Thailand: prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra running out of options as protests escalate

Anyone have any opinions/know anything about the current situation in Thailand we're hearing about on the news?

Do you think the current PM is corrupt? What do you think is going to happen?

 
Old 12-02-2013, 10:03 AM
 
5,090 posts, read 8,064,121 times
Reputation: 3066
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Thailand: prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra running out of options as protests escalate

Anyone have any opinions/know anything about the current situation in Thailand we're hearing about on the news?

Do you think the current PM is corrupt? What do you think is going to happen?
Similar post on another thread.
Massive protests in Thailand

In a nutshell, it's a 3-way squabble (power struggle) between the Redshirts (supporters of exiled former PM Thaksin Shinawatra), the Yellowshirts (anti-Thaksin), and the Thai government. The current PM, Yingluck Shinawatra, is the sister of Thaksin. There are some who think she has tried to use her position to obtain amnesty for her brother and that Thaksin has been manipulating the strings behind the scenes. A bill was submitted that would allow that to happen, but the bill was voted down. Such a bill could be seen as corruption. Thaksin fled the country when an arrest warrent was issued. His Thai passport has since been terminated. Although some people feel Thaksin should be allowed to reenter Thailand and all charges against him dropped, the court apparently does not agree. If he enters the country, he will be arrested and tried.

Whether the current PM is corrupt or not depends on how you loo at it. Apart from th effort to gain amnesty for her brother, I don't know of anything else she's been accused of as being corrupt. Still, as the PM of Thailand, she should not let personal matters influence her position. On the other hand, it's understandable because Thaksin is her brother, he's family. I'm not so sure Yingluck is necessrily corrupt, but she doesn't seem to be an effective leader by the way she handled matters related to the past couple of floodings, and failing to heed advice from actual experts.

The current protesting has gone on for several months, but more recently, it's escalated with 1000's of protesters being bussed in mostly from the Northeast. The protest appears to have been organized by a deposed vice-PM who is a Thaksin supporter. The former vice-PM is also on the run and has a warrant for his arrest. The protests, although irritating, involved surrounding the Ministry of Finance. Protesters also occupied a major intersection in BKK causing problems fo traffic in that area. Protesters used very loud, noisy whistles.

PM Yinluck said she was not going to call in the military to intervene in the protesting. It was a nuisance, but no real harm. The protesters said they were going to wrap things up in 3 or 4 days. Neither side has kept their promises. What followed appears to me that as things were beginning to peacefully wind down, thugs and punks stepped in to start violence. A number of people have been injured, a few were shot and killed, and others have vandalized cars, taxis, and buses by throwing rccks and using boards to damage the vehicles. Presumably the thugs are claiming to be Yellowshirts, but I think they're just opportunistic rogues that want to stir up problems with violence just for kicks.

The way things are going, it's hard to guess when it'll settle down. It reminds me of how things went bad after the protest occupation of the international airport a year or so ago. As things began to wind down, the rogues began to break glass and set fire to businesses around the Silom Road area. Gubs were fired and people were injured and killed.

A number of countries have given an advisory to avoid traveing to Thailand because of the current situation. The thing is that the problems are not city-wide or country-wide. It does not involve foreigners or tourists very much. It does make sense to avoid the areas where trouble is taking place though. There are bound to be some foreigners who put needlessly put themselves in harm's way just because they're curious and want to see what's going on, which is just plain stupid.

As for the rest of the city, life is going on as usual. And for the rest of the country, you'd never know there's an issue apart from seeing news broadcasts or reports on the Internet. If you want to know more specifically what the situation is, I'd suggest checking with the websites for the Bangkok Post and The Nation (both major English language newspapers). You can also get reports from the Thailand News forum at Thaivisa.com.
 
Old 12-02-2013, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,231,639 times
Reputation: 2833
It's funny while I was planning to go to Thailand in November 2011 there were big floods, so I went to Vietnam instead. After the floods subsided, however, I went after Vietnam. Bangkok felt quiet - I roamed the streets, day and night, and often felt like one of the only ones around, certainly one of the few tourists about. Dunno if it was unusually quiet but it left me with the impression Bangkok was an almost sleepy city lol. No rain though, just blazing sunshine...
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