19 May 2010

Thoughts on Thai Violence, #1

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(I will add short updates and thoughts here about Thailand’s present troubles. Instead of trying to write one document, I will just post bits and pieces. The whole situation is hard to integrate or to fathom.)
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19 May 2010: We are ok here – so far – but the day isn’t over yet, and info is coming in faster than I can read. Tuk even went to work today, although she was concerned enough to call me several times asking me if anything was happening on the streets nearby.
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The original core leaders of the Red Shirt protestors have either quit earlier, surrendered to police just now, or fled. The surrendering leaders told the protestors at the main rally site of Ratchaprasong, the heart of Bangkok’s shopping district, to end the protests and take the government-provided buses to go home. Many protestors booed this message, indicating that many will not heed it. The Army has now occupied the main inner city Red enclaves of Sala Daeng and Ratchaprasong.
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The problem now is rioting and arson in other areas of the city, and even in other provinces. Red Radio has just told the Reds to: “Light the fire if you’re near a bank. Everyone is your own leader.” That appeal to violence and mayhem speaks for itself. A curfew for Bangkok has just been announced, and I do believe that full Martial Law will be next. Bangkok, to our south, has a haze of smoke rising from massive tire-burnings.
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Fires were started at or near the two finest malls in the kingdom before the Ratchaprasong Reds dispersal. There is also a rumor that my favorite old movie theaters might be torched. If this is confirmed, I will be too angry to write. I have just checked the keenness of the edge on my Cold Steel.
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Rampaging Reds are now assaulting reporters. Now isn’t that the stupidest “tactic” you ever heard?
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I’ll post this and write more at another time.
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