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Thailand's Political Crisis Deepens

Once defiant ‘Red Shirt’ anti-government protesters surrendered after Thai troops crushed a months-long street standoff that had paralyzed central Bangkok. Hundreds are under arrest, a night-time curfew has been declared along with a TV news blackout as the army tries to mop up small pockets of resistance. But will the tough action by the security forces restore a lasting peace to the capital of the so-called ‘Land of Smiles”? Or, is more violence, bloodshed and social unrest likely? Can the kingdom regain a sense of unity? And, who are the main players in this national tragedy? In this audio slideshow, Duncan McCargo, author of Tearing Apart the Land: Islam and Legitimacy in Southern Thailand, winner of Asia Society's Bernard Schwartz Book Award, discusses Thailand's political crisis.

 

Produced by Stephanie Valera, Asia Society Online

What role is Islam playing in Thailand ? Are they helping or hurting?

I am writting a report on the red shirt because they are very intressting to me. I live in the US so it is very hard to understand what is going on in a place i am not and to really understand. Id like to hear more about the Red Shirts. How did it really effect you and how do you feel about the group? Please help me out in understanding the situation and the issue as a whole. Thank you!
What is really behide this demonstration? Former fugitive Taksin Shinawat is the key person, who should take full responsible, for him who had bought ( corrupted) all the raminification of all Thai society from top to bottom with all the money that he had manipulating while in the office of Thailand Piminister post, with in no more than 4-5 years, he managed to turn all the Thai national resources into his own private property, luckily that all the intellectuals in Thailand had stood up against him, finally he got the sentence from Supreme Court of Thailand 3 years jail time, he fled away ,and phone in ,video link to Thailand ffrom every corner of the world to order and organised the subotage to the country without common decency, just for the revenge of his own interested, he had committed all kind of evil with the assets he had, hell is going for him soon.!!!!
Thank god its finally over. I love my country and i feel we all lost in this battle. No one to blame but ourselves.
I've been wanting to see Asia Society open a center in Bangkok for years now. Your presence could help in mattters of cultural exchange, education, and other projects and events. It would surely represent a new expression of hope and encouragement in the region for you to pioneer this, now, thus setting a sterling example for others.---Gregory Galligan, PhD, Fulbright Senior Research Fellow to Thailand, 2010 (Bangkok)
The real fear is that the yellow shirts become impatient and take to the streets. This would create a civil war situation.
Regardless of which color "shirt" one identifies with or how divided Thai society is, there will never be a foundation for any successful govenment in Thailand without adherence to the rule of law. Unfortunatley, both sides of the current struggle seem to have made grave mistakes by either ignoring (the "Reds") or failing to adequately/quickly enforce (the Government) the rule of law as this crisis began to escalate two months ago. While nobody knows exactly how far the conflict will go, or how it can possibly end, there is no hope for any kind of true democracy in Thailand without re-institutionalizing the rule of law.
The "rule of law" was broken when the military overthrew the rightfully elected prime minister in a coup in 2006. The "law" in Thailand is the law of what is essentially a corrupt dictatorship disguised as a constitutional monarchy . . . one that pretends to have elections but then just throws out whoever they don't like at gunpoint. The people have god-given right to protest such gross injustice, and should, and free people of the world should wish them the best in their efforts to overcome tyranny, human rights abuses, and the gross misuse of power on the part of Thailand's current government and legal system.
I agree, for the most part. There is a long history and culture of power struggles among the elites in Thailand, and the "guise" of a democratic society to the outside world. Insiders know better. This is Thailand- nothing is as it seems! While the "Reds" absolutely should be free to voice their concerns, there is a fine line between doing so and then holding a city hostage...what about the rights of the people who live and work in Ratchaprasong? Many of my friends have had their livelihoods destroyed- possibly for good. I am all for their right to protest, and to seek change. All voices should be heard. I just do not agree with their tactics. They are no different than what others, as you allude to, have done in previous coups or other situations of gross injustice. Regardless, now what? Even if the government clears Ratchaprasong of Reds, now there are no elections scheduled, and no political change. Now what?
How will there be changed when we know who pulls the string?

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