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Here We Go ... The Shutdown Thread

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Anger simmering under the jubilant atmosphere

 

 

At the end of the day yesterday, somebody asked if the Bangkok shutdown was a carnival. I said "yes and no".

 

Yes, because many of the protesters - mostly middle-class Bangkokians and folks from the South - appeared to be in a jovial mood.

 

No, because I witnessed several troubling scenes, such as a trio cajoling fellow protesters to trample on posters featuring caretaker PM Yingluck Shinawatra and her brother Thaksin, and another group delivering a demonising speech that is not fit for print. Of course, I also saw a medical volunteer selflessly handing out balm to help ease people's fatigue.

 

Still, things don't bode well for Thailand as just under the surface of the jubilation, there is speculation about possible violence and bloodshed, as well rumours about who will be behind it.

 

Also, this is no ordinary "carnival" as both sides test each other's patience and the economy heads for a sharp decline.

 

If there are any "winners" of the "shutdown" organised by the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PRDC), it is the BTS Skytrain system, as most of the key rally sites are located near its stops.

 

Upon visiting the crowd at Asoke intersection, comprised mostly of middle-class Bangkokians, I ran into Dej Poomkacha, a retired NGO leader who was armed with a loudspeaker, whistle and a necktie in the colours of the Thai flag. The 67-year-old was euphoric about the demonstration, saying that many would have been killed by now if the same thing occurred in Cambodia.

 

"Thai society has changed!" he declared inside Terminal 21 shopping mall, where I could hear him more clearly without the loud whistling. "It doesn't matter who is in power now. We have gone far enough, and this [shutdown] of Bangkok has educated us about democracy."

 

Dej, too, has no idea how this deadlock will end, but has said he will not accept a coup. Another person, an old contact whom I ran into at the same venue, told me that some hardcore MPs from Pheu Thai Party were allegedly hiring armed assassins to attack both the protesters and the police, so there would be a coup. Then, he surmised, the red shirts would rise up to confront the armed forces in a bloody struggle.

 

Far fetched? Well, some red shirts also told me earlier that they believe the PDRC will be hiring some armed assassins to do just that, so there's a coup. :p

 

Later yesterday, I saw Sumalee Phiewphong, 48, a rubber farmer from the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat having a cup of coffee and scone with her husband at a Starbucks outlet in Siam Centre.

 

"If it's a week, it's okay. If it's going to take months, then we will have to take turns," she said, hinting that this was not a carnival, but a test of political endurance for both sides.

 

 

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Anger-simmering-under-the-jubilant-atmosphere-30224205.html

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Activist Sudchai Boonchai, who is a member of the “Thaksin’s Friends†Group, posted on the Facebook page urging red-shirt people to abduct Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha’s twin daughters from his sister-in-law’s florist shop in Phitsanulok province if he engineers a coup.

 

The twin daughters of the army chief now have two armed soldiers as bodyguards at the florist shop.

 

Army deputy spokesman Col Winthai Suwaree said Mr Sudchai’s threat was extreme inappropriate and was a serious breach of other people’s rights and the family institution.

 

He said what he wrote was an attempt to incite disorder and he risked committing a serious offence.

 

Such aggressive behavior posed a serious danger to Thai society and the Thai people would not accept what he said, the spokesman said.

 

The red-shirt activist said on Facebook “taking them alive as hostages will be good, but catching them dead is also worth it. The army chief will know the taste of losing his loved ones.†His message was widely shared on the Internet among supporters and opponents of Thaksin.

 

 

http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/category/breakingnews/

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Bomb attack at Rangsima's house

 

 

A bomb was thrown into the residence of former Democrat MP from Samut Songkhram, Rangsima Rodrasamee Monday night, but no one was injured, she said.

 

She said she received a report of the attack at 2 am via her maid.

 

She believed that the bombing was a threat and was politically motivated.

 

 

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/breakingnews/Bomb-attack-at-Rangsimas-house-30224236.html

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“taking them alive as hostages will be good, but catching them dead is also worth it. The army chief will know the taste of losing his loved ones.â€

 

Shows intent...

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Kidnapping the children of a politcial opponent. If this was true then it further emphasizes what is going on beneath the

flag waving. Classic Thai anger really and very scary-Disgusting.

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Protesters urge govt workers to close down state agencies

 

 

Highlights of the second day of the "shutdown campaign" and its impact on the capital and provinces across the country in the anti-government protesters' campaign for civil disobedience:

 

- About 1,000 protesters marched to the Office of the National Economic Social and Development Board, as they claimed the PM's secretary-general Suranand Vejjajiva would use the place to work. They blew whistles and urged officials there to stop work for five days. About 100 officials walked out of the office as the protesters cheered and blew whistles. With no one left in the NESDB office, they closed the gate with a big lock.

 

- PDRC protesters lais siege to the Customs Department from morning till 6pm, urging them to stop work and join their campaign to oust the PM.

 

- Many educational institutes suspended classes. These include Srinakharinwirot University, Pathumwan Institute of Technology, Rajamangala University of Technology's two campuses, Bangkok University's Rangsit campus, Chulalongkorn and Thammasat universities, plus Kasetsart's Bang Khen campus. Rajamangala University of Technology Krungthep, Rajabhat University's Suan Dusit and Suan Sunandha, and St John University. Ramkhamhaeng University have postponed exams until Friday.

 

- Protesters marched to the Commerce Ministry in Sanambinnam Road but left after they were told it was closed for three days.

 

- Protesters marched to the Department of Export Promotions after learning the permanent secretary for the PM's Office would use this as his office. After learning that the protesters were marching there, the official did not turn up.

 

- Protesters continue to block seven intersections in Bangkok: Pathum Wan, Ratchaprasong, Asoke, Sala Daeng, Victory Monument, Lat Phrao, the the Government Complex on Chaeng Wattana Road.

 

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Protesters-urge-govt-workers-to-close-down-state-a-30224278.html

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http://www.bangkokpost.com/lite/breakingnews/389514/resign-or-we-ll-seize-you-suthep-warns-caretaker-cabinet

 

"If the caretaker government still refused to comply with the PDRC's demand that they all resign, the PDRC would lift the protest to a higher level by blockading the houses of the prime minister and important cabinet members. If they still refused to budge, the protesters would take the prime minister and cabinet ministers into custody, he said."

 

You just have to love it when a "peaceful" politician threatens to kidnap the head of state.

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Protesters urged to look after their health

 

 

Protesters have been advised to maintain their health by consuming enough water, not missing meals and getting enough sleep. They have also been told to avoid spending too much time in the sun and spending some time on other distractions.

 

As many as 1,600 protesters showed up at the mobile medical aid station at Pathum Wan intersection to seek assistance Tuesday. Two of them were referred to hospital for further treatment.

 

In a statement Tuesday, Department of Health director-general Dr Porntep Siriwanarangsun said protesters could have a banana handy, as it was a good source of nutrition. He also urged people to not get obsessed with political issues and spend time on other activities like listening to the radio or exercising. :tuxedo:

 

 

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/breakingnews/Protesters-urged-to-look-after-their-health-30224283.html

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