Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Madness in Bangkok

Saturday, May 22, 2010

You must be from some other planet if you have heard nothing about the political unrest and the subsequent turmoil on the streets of Bangkok in recent weeks. Scenes of oblivion have been depicted in all our local dailies as well as international news agencies such as CNN and Reuters.

What Happened?

The ‘Red Shirt’ people, supporters of the opposition in the Thai political scene and purported supporters of ousted Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra, had called for a fresh elections, citing that the previous election results should be nullified due to discrepancies arising from the voting process and that the present government led by Abhisit Vejjajiva is an illegitimate one.

When the present Thai administration declined to have fresh elections, the ‘Red Shirt’ supporters decided to occupy strategic locations in downtown Bangkok. The main financial and shopping districts of Bangkok were the scenes of violence as-never-seen-before in which more than 50 people have died and 400 more injured.

Is It Over?

As violence raged on and on, the present Thai administration had the last straw. They gave the ‘Red Shirt’ supporters an ultimatum to vacate the areas that they had occupied for the past one month. However, defiant as ever, many did not leave. This resulted in a large scale military offensive that left many of the supporters and their leaders taken under arrest.

The aftermath of the military offensive left the ‘Red Shirt’ supporters deploying tactics such as burning an awful lot of tyres and torching numerous buildings, most notably the biggest shopping mall in the whole of Bangkok.

The good thing though was that the supporters were harried off the streets and order was restored to a certain extent after the month-long stand-off between the ‘Red Shirt’ supporters and the Thai government but at a very high cost as a lot of damage was caused amid all this fighting.

What Next?

It remains to be seen whether the government will hold on to its promise of dissolving the parliament and having fresh elections in November. This is because despite making the promises, the ‘Red Shirt’ supporters continued to defy orders to vacate the areas in central Bangkok that they occupied.

As for now, after the military offensive on the 19th of May, there have been no notable fresh cases of violence. But you may never know, the ‘Red Shirt’ supporters who have a very good support from the rural poor might just strike back and leave not only Bangkok engulfed in massive turmoil but drag the whole of Thailand into a full-blown civil war.

What's your take on the situation in Bangkok? Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
Related Posts with Thumbnails
◄Design by Pocket, BlogBulk Blogger Templates