Thailand’s Stand-Off

So, in Thailand it appears that anti-government protestors, the so-called Red Shirts, have the upper hand. They have managed to put a stranglehold on the nation’s economy by holding Bangkok captive — namely, tourists are likely to hold off traveling to the Land of Smiles. And Thailand’s military and police forces have done little to remove these protestors from the streets.

Today the Reds managed to shut the capital’s light rail service known as the BTS, disrupting work and forcing thousands of commuters to seek alternative modes of transportation. What will it take to stop these protestors? Many hail from Thailand’s provinces, and when you don’t have much income and face little opportunity in life, heck, you don’t have much to lose.

The King spoke recently, but his words haven’t dissuaded the Red Shirts from giving up their cause, and what cause may that be exactly? To bring back into power ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who is persona non grata in some countries? And what will his return bring to Thailand anyway? Maybe more divisiveness between the elite and poor, in a nation whose population is mostly Buddhist?

Thailand has faced 18 coups since its conversion into a constitutional monarchy in 1932, with breakouts of civil disobedience in between. In the past week, sporadic acts of violence have erupted, and you can’t rule out similar bouts.

That’s just about enough of my rambling, for now anyway…

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