Red Protests – May 27-June 10, 2010

Also: Red Protests 2010 main page

From Komchadluek, June 2010
The title reads: Notes of the reporters in the midst of the bloody battlefield - from Ratchadamneon war to Ratchaprasong chaos - Cruel May - Komchadluek

Rally billions uncovered - Bangkok Post, June 17, 2010

[We still get the occasional question from a reporter: "Is there any reason to believe the Red Shirt rallies were connected to Thaksin and not just a desire for democracy from oppressed rural people?"]

...Some 4.23 billion baht was withdrawn from the bank accounts of Thaksin's son Panthongtae and 6.63 billion baht from the accounts of his daughter Pinthongta starting from April 28...

[How would a 27-year old lady spend 6.63 billion baht cash?]

Also: The World's Worst Daughters - FP, August 4, 2009

...Bad behavior: When Pinthongta Shinawatra became the richest stockholder in Thailand in 2004, few observers were surprised. Before Thaksin was deposed in a military coup in 2006, his family benefited tremendously from the rampant nepotism during his five-year term as prime minster, with his own children netting millions. Along with her brother Pangthongtae, she made a large profit by buying 329.2 million shares in a Thai communications company for 1 baht each from one of the family’s offshore holding company, and selling them for almost 50 times their value to a Singaporean company. The ensuing transaction netted $464 million, and Pinthongta’s father kept the transaction hidden from Thai tax officials...

Watermelon soldiers - from Vote, June, 2010
The main headline reads: Beware! Hired watermelons to revolt
["Watermelons" refers to soldiers who wear a green army uniform, but inside are "red" and thus support Thaksin's return. A perennial Red Shirt leader claim to protesters was that the army was going to start a revolution at any moment, overthrown the "aristocrats" and return Thaksin to lead the nation.]



Above: The shrine at Rajprasong was removed when Red Shirts occupied Rajrasong--presumably to protect it from vandalism as Chirathivat family holdings were known to be Thaksin targets.

Cursed intersection - June 17, 2010
From a history of the Rajprasong area (from 2003-2004): Central World Plaza (formerly World Trade Center) - Massive shopping center and highrise office tower built on the former site of the Phetchaboon Palace (home of Prince Juthathuj's family). There was controversy over whether it was proper to build a highrise next to Wat Padumavanaram. Part way through the construction of the highrise, the developers (Wang Phetchaboon, owned by the Wanglee family) went broke, leading some to speculate that building a structure over a wat caused the bad fortune. Others blamed the 'curse' on constructing a shopping center on former palace grounds. The agency that holds the title to the land, the Crown Property Bureau, ended up suing Wang Phetchaboon. The entire site was recently taken over by Central Pattana (owners of the Central chain of department stores). The large plaza (for Bangkok) outside the center makes it a prime location of new year's eve countdowns. This is the location broadcast from Thailand to the rest of the world on new year's eve. The site is 'protected' by gigantic shrines on either end of the site....

Also: The unprotected intersection - March 22, 2006

Thailand's anti-government protesters laying low - Voice of America, June 15, 2010
...Retired policeman and political organizer Kamolsil Singhasuriya has already been questioned by authorities and says the Red Shirts are under intense pressure. He says another movement is bound to start once the emergency degree is lifted. But he said it will be a non-violent democracy movement...

Buying back Thaicom, and claims of profiteering - Bangkok Post, June 15, 2010
..."It doesn't matter much if they [the red-shirts] are on a stage trying to incite a crowd of about 10,000 people, but national security is threatened when they're making the broadcast  [nationwide]," the deputy premier in charge of security affairs said.
When the government asked Thaicom to disconnect the signal, it was not easy to do. The signal was eventually disconnected because of the enforcement of emergency decree caused the red-shirt protesters to raid the Thaicom station in April, Mr Suthep said...

Smoke (and mirrors) behind Bangkok fires - AsiaTimes, June 17, 2010
[Good article on the targeted and deliberate nature of the burnings at the end of the rally which we pointed out on May 24.]
...Some believe that if the UDD was truly engaged in a rich-versus-poor class struggle, then it would have also symbolically torched the more upscale Gaysorn Plaza shopping mall, the other main commercial edge of its Rajaprasong protest stage directly opposite CentralWorld. Controlled by the local Srivikorn family, Gaysorn Plaza also owns the nearby Amarin Plaza shopping and office tower where the McDonalds - that stayed open throughout most of the protest - became a popular, air-conditioned gathering spot for UDD leaders.
Indeed, a number of terrified red shirt protesters sought shelter in the upper floors of the Amarin on May 19. The family - different members own different bits of the sprawling empire - also owns the two five-star hotels behind Gaysorn Plaza and some nearby condominiums. The Srivikorns were badly bruised by the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis and Pimol Srivikorn joined Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai (TRT), a political party that on the campaign trail capitalized on popular anger over a slow economic recovery. He was banned from politics by for electoral malpractice along with 110 other TRT MPs in May 2007...

Trial of Aussie to start in Thailand - Sydney Morning Herald, June 16, 2010
An Australian man is to face a Thai court on Thursday on charges of violating Thailand's emergency laws by addressing anti-government rallies in May...

Jakrapob in Europe; Arisman and Suporn remain at large - The Nation, June 16, 2010

Lessons for Singapore from the Thai turmoil - Sin Chew Jit Poh, June 15, 2010
...Can a socio-political contract that did well in the first 50 years of our independence serve us equally well in the next 50 years? And will our HDB heartland continue to accept this old contract? Or will it at some point demand more? Who knows?...

Thai government cracks down on protest media - VOA, June 16, 2010
..."At one point they just announced for their viewers to capture [the] prime minister's wife and [the] prime minister's children and kill them. And, at one point they also announced that if [the] prime minister traveled to provincial places they just kill him. And, this certainly cannot be allowed in any country - in a democratic country at least," said Panitan...

Thailand reveals names of arrested Red Shirts - ABC News, June 12, 2010
..."I think my son is not dead yet; I think he's not dead, otherwise he would come as a ghost to let me know," he said...

Thai government tells US it's in charge - AFP, June, 2010
...Kiat recalled Thailand's reaction to the September 11, 2001 attacks when "our friends were in trouble."
"Do we have concern that from now on we should advise our people not to come to the United States? Are we concerned that the United States government cannot handle the situation? Certainly not," he said...

Thai economy 'thriving' - Straits Times, June 12, 2010
Thailand's economy is thriving despite the recent political unrest, with unemployment at an almost record low...

Drought edict turns farmers against Thai government - Sydney Morning Herald, June 12, 2010
Farmers in Thailand's drought-stricken north have been told by the government they cannot plant any more rice, further fuelling anti-Bangkok sentiment in the Red Shirt-loyal region...

Thai PM reopens probe into Thaksin's 'war on drugs' - AFP, June 10, 2010

EXTRA-JUDICIAL KILLINGS - Killings were 'crime against humanity' - The Nation, June 12, 2010
... "First, police made arrests, then made announcements welcoming the dealers' surrender," he said. "But according to what was widely reported at the time, most of them were shot dead mysteriously after they gave themselves up..."

Government shuns 'peace talks' of Thaksin's legal adviser - MCOT, June 10, 2010

Thaksin's tweets today - The Nation, June 9, 2010
[It is still not clear what Thaksin's strategy will be now. Perhaps his tirade against Anupong today will be the start of some kind of campaign to prevent Prayuth from ascending to the Commander-in-Chief position.]

Thailand cites plots against king for clampdown on red-shirt dissent - Christian Science Monitor, June 8, 2010

Turmoil in Thailand -, June 8, 2010
[It would be hard to imagine an article with less actual understanding of the situation.]
...Trade unionists, student activists, NGOs and anti-sweatshop organisations responded by forming the International Solidarity for Thailand Campaign, the avowed purpose of which is to see the political crisis in Thailand resolved peacefully. The campaign has called for an end to violence by all parties; an independent internationally mediated inquiry into extra-judicial killings with all those responsible for the death of civilians to be held to account by a criminal court; an end to state censorship and the state of emergency and the freeing of all lese majesté and political prisoners; the dissolution of the current government and the holding of immediate elections...

The end of brand Thailand - Newsweek, June 4, 2010
[Thanks to Marc for pointing this out.]
...The failure was obvious. Thailand’s scores on the TOEFL exam, the test of English skills for students heading to university, now consistently rank among the lowest in Asia. No Thai-owned companies have emerged that compare with the Taiwanese computer giant Acer or the Indian IT giant Infosys. And as China gobbles up more and more low-end manufacturing, high-tech firms ignore Thailand...

Many Thai workers, now out of poverty, are in dissent - NYT, June 9, 2010

The Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) project
[With downloadable pdf for Thailand. Thanks to Mud for pointing this out.]

On the forum: Manager scuttlebutt about the plan to appoint Thaksin's wife prime minister

Also: Manager notes is now blocked within Thailand.

Video of men preparing to burn buildings on May 19 - oknation, June 6, 2010

Australian and Briton Appear in Thai court -, June 4, 2010
...[Jeff Savage, British Defendant]:
"We are political prisoners. Land of smile, land of trial. This is Abhisit is a killer. Abhisit, you are murderer."
[Conor Purcell, Australian Defendant]:
"I was in agony, I was paralyzed at night. My body was in massive spasm. I was kept in the jail with criminals in massive security, 31 people to a room..."

Thais abused riot suspect, embassy says - Phnom Penh Post, June 4, 2010
...“Mr San Moniphet informed the representative of the Royal Embassy of Cambodia who visited him in police custody that he was only standing near the scene and watching the burning building when the police arrested him,” the statement reads...

Aussie protester in Thailand applies for bail - ABC News, June 4, 2010
..."Seven armed people beat the crap out of me in jail so that they could move me to maximum security," he said...

Australian's outburst in Bangkok court - ABC News, May 28, 2010
...As Australian consular officials attempted to calm him Purcell yelled: "This country has no authority over me. I'm not under Thai law. I'm only obeying international law. I'm head of the red gang..."

What happens to Thailand's sex tourism during the riots? - Slate, June 3, 2010

The title reads: Bloody dangerous time [something like "Dark age" which has been used often in the Thai-language press to describe the events of May] - Reds at the boiling spots in the city 2010 - Collection of the historical events from the red fight in the bloody time - from 11st infantry division Mark-Sansern - Collection of burning pictures of Central World

Memory magazines - June 3, 2010
Immediately after every major political crisis, Thai newspapers print magazine collections of photos documenting the events. Here are three of them for the current crisis...

The title reads: Naewna recording the historical event - terrorism - Red city torching - 19 May 2010, the day of sabotage

Raising a red flag in Thailand - Time, June 7, 2010
...Even more chilling, everyone from matronly teachers to small-business owners is openly calling for armed insurrection. "I fear Isaan is going to become a base for an underground movement against state power," says Sutin Klungsang, a former member of parliament for a party aligned with Abhisit's nemesis and Red Shirt spiritual mentor, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. "People are filled with hatred, and we must be prepared for a campaign of terrorism..."

Phnom Penh denies Thai red shirts trained for unrest in Cambodia - Earth TImes, June 2, 2010
...The Thai commander, identified by the Cambodian government as Vivalit Chhonsomrit, then alleged that the training was a step towards declaring that north-eastern Thailand was under opposition control.
The Cambodian government said foreign military bases were not permitted on its territory, and called on the Thai media to refrain from distributing "baseless information, which would mislead national and international opinion..."

Baby koala becomes namesake of Thai peace effort - AP, June 3, 2010

Mantras, misperceptions and mutual acrimony in Thai MP debate - The Irrawaddy, June 2, 2010
...Focusing on Deputy Prime Minister Suthep, Jatuporn said that the government “accuses us of paying people to die.” He added that, “If I can hire someone, I would pay for Suthep to die...”

Result of the censure debate - from Komchadluek, June 4, 2010
The headline reads: Result of vote - No confidence - Ministers


Abhisit Vejjajiva, PM

Suthep Tuagsuban, Deputy PM

Korn Jatikavanit,
Finance Minister

Kasit Piromya,
Foreign Minister

Chavarat Charnveerakul,
Interior Minister

Sophon Zarum,
Transport Minister








No confidence














No vote







Thai opposition accuses politician of royal insult - Reuters, June 1, 2010
[This is part of the bold and feared oratory of Chalerm. He often uses the tact of accusing others of what he is accused of. How to counter the claims that the Red Shirts have continually threatened the monarchy? simply accusing the government of the same.
Of course, rarely is anything that is said in these censure debates on either side of any importance. The voting afterwards is always wrapped up in behind-the-scenes scheming. One example is the threat this time that many Pheu Thai MPs will not vote with their party and will jump ship to join another party--something we have been predicting for some time.]
..."This rhetoric of yours means our institution needs to be reformed. It's a very wretched and vile thought," Chalerm told Kasit during Tuesday's televised debate.
"How could you say you want to reform the monarchy? You are audacious..."

Suthep says 4 monks arrested and defrocked properly for assisting armed red-shirt gunmen - AsiaOne,  June 1, 2010
Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban Monday explained that four monks were arrested for assisting gunmen who fired at the authorities on May 19...

The death of tolerance in Thailand - Wall Street Journal, May 31, 2010
In northern and northeastern Thailand, the security forces have begun a program of surveillance of ordinary citizens...


Above: May 28, 2010 - Reporters from Thaksin's Voice TV channel ask a vendor if he feels safe on Silom Road


Above: May 27, 2010 Reporters from Suvarnabhumi channel ask passersby to comment on the arson in Bangkok.
The reporters wear shirts that read: Lucky [we have] the King—Thais love this land
On the back of the shirt it reads: Thailand variety program, the satellite TV station - Suvarnabhumi channel


Wreath in front of burned Siam Theater - The signs read: The year 1969, the first Khai Boutique at Siam Cinema, 2nd floor—Somchai Khaewthong - Mourning Siam


The banner reads: Dindaeng Bridge closed for checking infrastructure [damage] from the long time [extensive] burning
[Red Shirts started many large tire fires under this flyover.]


The words read: Ai Mark, the tyrant
["Mark" is the nickname of PM Abhisit. This is a traditional way of Thai cursing--one writes a person's name on a stair so many people will walk over it. Ironically, this curse is outside of Center One--one of the specific locations targeted for arson as its owners are Thaksin enemies.]


Sign at Siam Theater: Dangerous fire zone, do not enter


Targeted banks - June 5, 2010
Several specific banks were specifically targeted as Thaksin foes by the Red Shirts. Here are some banners hung in front of the burned out branches directing customers to other branches.

The above banner reads: Siam City Bank - The Siam City Bank (PLC), Siam Square branch, moved to Samyan branch office - Tel 02 215-1549, 0-2215 4225, 0-2215 4199


The top banner reads: CIMB Bank Thailand (PLC) - Attention: banking service is available for customers at Maboonkrong Center branch Tel 0-2686-3964-6 - Further information at CIMB Thai Care Center Tel 0-2626-7777 ext 0
The lower banner reads: Dangerous fire zone, entrance not allowed - Asset Administration Office, Chulalongkorn University [Siam Square is on Chulalongkorn University land.]


Who's under fire?
Thai PM under fire over deadly crackdown - AFP, May 31, 2010
Thailand's prime minister faced accusations Monday of violating human rights by ordering a deadly army crackdown on opposition protesters, during a heated no-confidence debate in parliament...
Pheu Thai under fire - Bangkok Post, May 31, 2010
A lawyer for the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) on Monday filed a petition with the Election Commission (EC) seeking the dissolution of the opposition Pheu Thai Party and the banning of its leader and executive committee members from politics...

Western media perverts information about Thailand -, May 30, 2010
[Surprisingly, this article takes the opposite tact one would expect--it contends that the Red Shirts are merely the rural poor asking for freedom against an authoritarian regime and the international press misreports this by not highlighting government cruelty.]
..."What is going on now is a kind of white terror, pay back and disappearances and the entrenchment of a de facto military government. Of course big business and the West will look the other way. It was the Australian foreign minister who congratulated Abhisit on his near bloodless solution..."

Unmasked: Thailand's men in black - AsiaTimes, May 29, 2010
...These were not the regular black-attired security guards employed by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, or UDD, anti-government protest group who generally didn't carry guns. These were the secretive and heavily armed agent provocateurs whose connections, by their own admission, run to the top of the UDD, also known as the red shirts...

Spreading money as the only salve - Bangkok Post, May 29, 2010
...Among them were the twins of rhetoric, one wearing a Gandhi T-shirt and the other a Pheu Thai member of parliament. How they whipped up a frenzy. Bangkok's citizens clearly saw red but couldn't stop the momentum.
"Burn! I'll take responsibility!" one blared on stage, while the other described the kind of panic the military-backed government was inducing among their Isan brethren. "Many of us, when in panic, will reach for brandname handbags, some will rush for gems and jewellery," he said, giving owners of upscale emporiums a heart attack at the prospect of looting.
(Afterwards, soldiers checking the bundles of homeward-bound protesters who had gathered in a temple, retrieved many expensive watches and bracelets.)...

Billionaire convicts and inmates - Forbes, May 28, 2010

From Komchadluek, May 27, 2010
The headline reads: 'Maew' [nickname of Thaksin] facing terrorist charges in tumult - Protests for being charged falsely - Attorney - MFA seeks for [arrest] - Curfew shortened to end this coming Friday
Security tightened around government house - Mark [nickname of PM Abhisit] worries about security - Revealing sniper involved with Aussie, crazy for war
Support for employee by paying 7,500 each - Cabinet support small entrepreneurs - A million baht loan is granted without guarantor required [this the the aid given to businesses impacted by the protest]
Terrorism law - the weapon to tackle 'Maew' page 8

From Komchadluek, May 28, 2010
The headlines reads: 'Maew' [nickname of Thaksin] claims fear for returning to Thailand - worried about assassination!
Tumultuous explanation given to the media - Seeks petition to the World Court - Mark [nickname of PM Abhisit] replies by [mentioning] the event of drug dealers killings [referring to Thaksin's campaign of extra-judicial killings of drug suspects] - Foreign Ministry [officials] seeks discussion with Montenegro
Four red police commanders transferred due to the arson [refers to police commanders in the Northeast apparently under influence from Thaksin who stood by while groups of Red Shirts burned down government buildings]
Ammunitions store under close watch to guard against sabotage - tavo guns seized after checking two red leaders [Kwanchai Praipana and Payab Punket]

Social disparity leads to conflict in Thailand - People's Daily,  May 29, 2010
..."It is a lesson for all developing countries, not just Thailand, to learn how to manage social inequality," said Surin. "It is not about being democratic or undemocratic, but about effectiveness of social-management agencies..."

Ex-Thai PM now 'richest Montenegrin' -, May 28, 2010
...First, due to the less than transparent investment policies of the Montenegrin government, any foreign investor who strikes a deal with the prime minister and his immediate family and does that through the bank they own could count on a substantial and speedy turn of profit. As long as the relationship between the foreign investor and the Montenegrin prime minister is mutually beneficial, no one asks difficult questions about the source of funds invested.
Second, the Montenegrin Constitution does not allow extradition of its citizens. Those deemed suitable to acquire the Montenegrin citizenship could, therefore, leave all potential legal troubles behind once they get the passport of this first and only ecological state in the world...

Cruise call in Bangkok canceled after violent political unrest - Cruise Critic, May 28, 2010

Thailand tries to go after financial backers of 'red shirts' - Washington Post, May 28, 2010
...When Bangkok lurched toward anarchy last week, mostly pro-Thaksin red shirts turned with fury on property owned by rich families they viewed as hostile or lukewarm to their movement. Police stood by as rioters torched branches of Bangkok Bank and the country's biggest shopping mall, CentralWorld.
The arson attacks mirrored, albeit with far more violence, a campaign launched in early 2006 by opponents of Thaksin to boycott businesses close to the then prime minister. Six months later, the military removed Thaksin and set up a commission to investigate his business network...

Dark shadow over the Thai smile - The Globe and Mail, May 28, 2010
In the era of globalization, underdevelopment breeds insecurity and shared identity no longer assures unity...

Thai war of words on the web - Asia Times, May 28, 2010
...Usage of Facebook in Thailand, which has 16 million Internet users, has doubled in the past six months as political tension has escalated along with government censorship of websites, radio stations and television. This week alone has witnessed the banning of three more publications and Thai newspaper Thai Rath claims that up to 500 websites per day are also disappearing from screens in the country...

Thai troops step up watch on Red Shirts in north - Boston Globe, May 27, 2010

From Khaosod, May 27, 2010
The caption reads:Bitter suppression - Pro-democratic activists in Indonesia stage a protest in front of the Thai Embassy in Jakarta to simulate the events when soldiers used weapon against protestors [in Bangkok]. A similar protest also occurred in the Philippines.

From Khaosod, May 27, 2010
The caption reads: Accused arsonists - Police Major General Decha Chuayboonchum, Udonthani Police Chief, shows photos of many accused with arrest warrant, allegedly involved in the burning of the town pavilion and the Udonthani Municipality Office while the rally was being dispersed in Bangkok.

From Khaosod, May 27, 2010
The caption reads: Touching - Jatuporn Prompan turns himself into the DSI and is granted a temporary release due to MP status. Many red shirts come to give moral support. He is in a tearful moment

Thai Foreign Ministry spokesperson addresses the concerns of Human Rights Watch - Ministry of Foreign Affairs, May 27, 2010

How Thailand can avoid a new insurgency - Time, May 27, 2010
This week's most depressing statistic comes courtesy of an unnamed Thai government source quoted in the Bangkok Post. The source reveals that the military had been willing to kill "between 200 and 300 people" and injure "several thousand" in its operation last week to storm the Red Shirt protest site in Bangkok's commercial district...

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