Thai government courts farmers at heart of protests - AP, March 31, 2010
Sweden did not ask Thaksin to leave - ScandAsia.com, March 31, 2010
Reds to resume pressure - The Nation, March 31, 2010
...He said Thaksin asked him to retain the 4,000 people at the protest site for five more days, adding that the ex-leader wanted an "end game" before Chakri Day next Tuesday. "I have to postpone the Kon Rak Udon's function until April 15. About 3,000 more people from the group will come on 100 buses and it will cost another Bt800,000," Kwanchai said.
...Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban told a Democratic Party meeting that a roadmap had been completed for the next general elections, to be held on January 23, according to a source.
A senior military officer said the government would try to stay in power for as long as possible to be able to pass the budget bill to improve its popularity and to have a say in the annual transfers of state officials, particularly senior military officers.
In the meantime, Thaksin would "go all out and spent a lot" in a bid to force the government out of power as soon as possible in order not to allow the government an advantage in the next general elections.
'I'm in Russia,' taunts Thaksin - Bangkok Post, March 31, 2010
..."I tell you [the ministry], I'm in Russia now," he said, speaking via video link. "I came from Sweden. But I wasn't kicked out of Sweden, contrary to what the Foreign Ministry said...
Thaksin stayed in Sweden several days - ScandAsia.com, March 30, 2010
...The ministry's spokesperson Ander Jörle declined, however, to comment on information from Thailand, that he left Sweden on Monday night after Thailand had requested Sweden to ask him to leave.
"We cannot comment on the information from Thailand," Ander Jörle of the foreign ministry said to the Swedish daily Aftonbladet...
Siam Samakkhi condemns Thaksin - Bangkok Post, March 30, 2010
...In its statement, the group said Thaksin's speeches with repeated mentioning of "amart" or the aristocratic elite caused the people to believe he was referring to the monarchy, not Privy Council chairman Prem Tinsulanonda.
The group said it could not tolerate such action of "a criminal convict" and called for the people throughout the country to condemn Thaksin and the network of his underlings...
From Daily News, March 30, 2010
The headline reads: UDD announces game ending - After the first meeting of the second talk, fails to reach solution
From Komchadluek, March 30, 2010
The headline reads: The first talk fails declares the red shirts - The 2nd meeting must end [must reach solution]
Maew [Thaksin] criticizes that an advance order was involved in the avoidance of a parliament dissolution [this refers to Thaksin's repeated attacks on unnamed "aristocrats" in recent days that were so worded so as to cause some to allege that he was referring to the King] - Academics say parliament is to be dissolved within 3 months
Bomb attack in front of Banharn’s residence, injuring 1 bystander
Grenade attack at the Bangkok Bank - Bombing attack at phone booth in Chiang Mai
Thaksin flies out of Sweden - The Nation, March 30, 2010
Manager/ASTV, March 29, 2010
Left: Lighting candles in the yellow color style [referring to the PAD]
Right: Lighting candles in the red color style [referring to the Red Shirts]
Thaksin: PM insincere at talk with DAAD leaders - TAN, March 29, 2010
Red Shirts announce today as last day for talks - TAN, March 29, 2010
From Matichon Weekend, March 19-25, 2010
The headline reads: M79 [referring to the M79 grenade on the army base at Viphavadi Road] is the signal [of] blood
From Matichon Weekend, March 19-25, 2010
At the bottom right of the cover is a small cartoon. The boy says: Sok lek [the name of an Isan food containing raw blood] delicious [speaking in Isan dialect he seems to imply the country people would love to see blood]
Thaksin thank you note in a taxi - March 26, 2010
To the right of the photo of Thaksin offering a tray of sweets it reads: Sawasdee New Year 2010 - I would like to deliver all happiness from the far land to every Thai and thank you for your wishes for me and my family. I would like to thank you for your support in submitting the petition to HM King. I will never forget your merits for me and Thailand - [signature] Thaksin Shinawatra
A royalist speaks in Thailand - Asia Times, March 24, 2010
[This is the story being touted in The Nation as: Thaksin passes the point of no return: Anand This position by Anand is significant as he normally takes an elder statesman role outside of partisan party politics.]
...They must be bankrupt of ideas. And there's no leadership. These three or four guys (UDD leaders Jatuporn Promphan, Nattawut Saikua, Veera Musikhapong) use rhetoric all the time. They have no credibility. Some of the more credible figures in Thaksin's camp never came out.
[Former prime minister and Thaksin ally] Chavalit [Yongchaiyudh] disappeared. [Former Internal Security Operations Command deputy director] General Panlop [Pinmanee] is where? Nobody came out. I think in Chavalit's mind he knew it was a lost cause, these demonstrations. And they must have spent a fortune...
Fantastic translations of Red Shirt head bands and banners - womenlearnthai.com, March 22, 2010
From forum.thailandtip.de: photos and video
B-41 shell exploded in Bangkok did not come from Cambodia: PQRU - Radio France Internationale, March 22, 2010
Biased TV stations intensify divides in Thailand protests - CSM, March 22, 2010
...Police estimated that 65,000 people had joined the convoy, which stretched for several miles.
But viewers of Thailand’s TV stations, the most popular source of news, were told that 25,000 attended. As usual, pictures of protesters were bracketed by statements from government officials. No airtime was given to ordinary protesters...
Abhisit questions Thaksin's role as leader of 'class war' - The Nation, March 20, 2010
General Chaovalit Yongjaiyuth takes red shirt stage - TAN, March 20, 2010
Bomb attack on National Anti-Corruption Commission in Nontaburi - TAN, March 20, 2010
Bottle bombs, M16 attack on Thursday night - Bangkok Post, March 19, 2010
From Matichon, March 19-25, 2010
The advertisement reads: Die disgracefully—to compensate for actions until the next generation
Disgrace... [by] drug taking-drug trafficking must compensate [for this ad] action until your next generation - Society will curse your family and the family will break down - The next generation [of the family] will endure “life with suffering" - Provincial Administration Department, Interior Ministry
[Because of the prominent colors in the ad, some readers at first thought that the photo and message referred to the Red Shirts' political movement. However, the message refers to a campaign against the drug traffickers and drug dealers.
The prominence of the message "die" does relate to the prominent method for dealing with the drug problem--extra-judicial killings which have proved to be very popular with the general public.]
(Source: CNN International screen grab)
CNN's sloppy contrast of "Thailand leaders" - March 19, 2010
In the past year, CNN International has veered heavily to an informal style with anchors chuckling at each other's folksy jokes and expressing their opinions of each story in a style formerly reserved for small-town regional broadcasts in the U.S. This includes breezy analysis of news events heavy on simplistic graphics.
At 18:20 Bangkok time, CNN International's Kristie Lu Stout had an insultingly simplistic comparison of Thai prime ministers. For instance, Abhisit's supporters are royalists who wear yellow shirts and Thaksin's supporters are populists who wear red shirts. Abhisit roots for Newcastle and Thaksin once owned Manchester United (which is an error as Thaksin actually once had an ownership stake in Manchester City).
Thaksin, Thailand's Gandhi - Bangkok Post, March 19, 2010
[Not sure what this odd page is about...]
Bangkokians offer mixed reactions to the UDD; Thaksin promises traffic congestions until victory
From Daily News, March 18, 2010
The headline reads: Red blood all over – in front of Government House – the Democrat Party HQ – in front of Mark’s residence [PM Abhisit’s house] – Suthep reveals sabotage is likely – Arisman announces they [the Red Shirts] will absolutely take the blood of [PM] Abhisit and aristocrats to wash their feet unless parliament is dissolved – Meanwhile the Red Shirts splash blood [This shows the Red Shirts employing a blood-cursing rite.]
From Thai Rath, March 17, 2010
From Komchadluek, March 18, 2010
Pressing the advantage
PM Abhisit to file charges against claim he ordered violence to be used on Reds - TAN, March 18, 2010
PM Abhisit Vejjajiva will file charges against former Thaksin Shinawatra, red-shirt key leader and Phau Thai MP Jatuporn Phrompan and another red-shirt leader Arisman Pongruengrong for showing doctored audio clip to red-shirts and comparing him to Hitler.
The audio clip featured the voice of PM Abhisit allegedly ordering security officials to use force to crackdown on the red-shirt protesters during April 2009 riot. The clip has been proved to have been doctored using PM Abhisit's voice.
Thonglor Police press charges against Red Shirts - TAN, March 18, 2010
Thonglor Police are pressing charges against red shirts protesters for throwing blood and feces into the prime minister's house. Reports suggest they could possibly seek arrest warrants today.
Soldiers file charge against monk - TAN, March 18, 2010
Soldiers stationed at Kavila Monument in Chiang Mai province have filed a charge against an abbot of Sri Boonrueng Temple who poured blood on them on Wednesday...
Red Shirt rally fallout: Tourists cancel 1000 rooms per day in Bangkok - Thai News Agency, March 18, 2010
PM agrees to negotiate with red shirts - The Nation, March 18, 2010
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Thursday agreed to go to the negotiable table with the red shirts if they agreed to the conditions that the government set to ensure that the red-shirt rallies would be held peacefully...
UDD rejects talks offer - Bangkok Post, March 18, 2010
...Mr Prompan said the UDD is ready for talks but the government must not set pre-conditions. Moreover, the UDD would talk only with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, not his representatives...
Call 1555 - March 17, 2010
Above and below are screen captures from a public service announcement playing often on Thai TV. It shows people inside a fenced-off Thailand (above). From outside of the fence, bombs are being thrown in. As more damage is being done, the people start to cry (below). Viewers are asking to call 1555 if they see bombs or suspicious items that are meant to hurt Thailand.
Photos of Red Shirts and their blood drive - The Nation, March 16, 2010
Thaksin calls on Red Shirts to review their plan to draw blood - The Nation, March 16, 2010
From Truth Today, March 12-15, 2010
The headline reads: ‘Security bill’ a Hitler’s law!?! Tool of the aristocrat-backed government
[This is one of the many, many Hitler references in Red Shirt publications.]
Thaksin draws comparison between Abhisit and Hitler - TAN, March 17, 2010
...Thaksin added that just like the German schizophrenic dictator, Abhisit does not like to talk alone, has problems controlling his ambitions, and violent tendencies.
Thaksin also said that Abhisit is surrounded by homosexuals with emotional problems...
Thai TV today - 11:11, March 17, 2010
Thai TV today is mainly back to regular programming and seems to be downplaying coverage of the Red Shirts. There are reports on the Red Shirts' march across town during news breaks, but the footage is from a grainy web cam (or mobile phone?) and the reporters are reporting over mobile phones. This is in contrast to yesterday when all the stations had clear, long-term coverage of the march and standoff at the 11th Infantry Regiment.
Warden Message: Demonstrations expected in front of U.S. Embassy today, Wednesday March 17, 2010
This warden message alerts U.S. citizens traveling to and residing in Thailand that a gathering of United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (aka UDD or "red-shirts") protestors may demonstrate in front of the U.S. Embassy on Wireless Road sometime today, March 17, 2010. The protesters will likely arrive before 12 noon.
U.S. citizens should be aware that the UDD protesters may be in the possession of blood specimens...
[Posted at 10:29 - As far as we can tell, no media outlets have mentioned this alert or what the significance of the U.S. Embassy is to the Red Shirts. It could be related to the Thai government claim that they received intelligence about planned Red Shirt violence from the U.S.]
Red Shirts show bombs allegedly planted in their rally - TAN, March 17, 2010
From Daily News, March 16, 2010
The headline reads: M79 shooting attack - 6 [items shot into] attack at the 1st Infantry Regiment - Injuring 12 soldiers - The red shirts announce to pour one million CCs of blood onto Government House
From Khaosod, March 16, 2010
The headline reads: Pouring ‘blood’ of a million CCs in front of Government House
What does it take to move Thai news to the lead story? - 11:01, March 16, 2010
Threats to bring 1,000,000 to paralyze Bangkok and travel warnings from 31 countries could not move Thai news to the lead story on CNN International.
However, the odd and colorful Red Shirt "blood drive" was the leading story at 11:01 Bangkok time. Correspondent Dan Rivers concluded it "smacks of desperation."
Bomb attack on Newin's father-in-law's house - TAN, March 16, 2010
["Bomb" attacks reported in English like this are sometimes actual bombs, but most often they are large firecrackers.]
Monday night: M79 attack on house of administrative court president - TAN, March 16, 2010
Reports suggest that late last night, a M79 grenade was launched at the house of Administrative Court President Ackaratorn Chularat. The culprits missed their target and the grenade landed on a neighbors house. No injuries have been reported.
Above: Looking east from Pan Fah Bridge
Traffic cam images of the protest site from 13:10 - March 16, 2010
Above: Looking west from Pan Fah Bridge
Above: Royal Plaza
Declare victory - March 16, 2010
The Red Shirts are either grasping at straws or stalling with their blood drive. Seeing the disarray within the various pro-Thaksin camps (the Red Shirts, Pheu Thai MPs, Gen. Pallop, etc.), as well as conflicting calls on what they want the government to do, it could be that Red Shirts will declare victory and disband their protest after today's blood smearing ceremony rather than risk smaller and smaller numbers.
The three Red Shirt leaders have the most to loose if this happens as they will be seen to be weakened by ineffective protest tactics and low turnout. However, letting the protest dwindle any further would allow foes to discount the Reds as a force that can threaten the government.
Government and security forces remain on highest alert for violence that would benefit the Red Shirts cause and snatch from the government a victory that appears to be within its reach.
If the protest disbands sooner than later, it would lend credence to early conspiracy theories that the entire protest was engineered by Pheu Thai Party leaders to discredit and remove the Red Shirt leaders from the scene and allow Pheu Thai to take up the political leadership in preparation for future elections.
As we have noted before, all coalition and opposition MPs are happy to allow the Democrats to lead during this difficult time and make all the tough economic choices. When elections do come, everyone can hammer them for selling out the county and putting the country in debt. This was the same strategy Thaksin used against the Democrats in the 1990s to great effect.
(Source: Channel 7 screen grab)
17:40 - Thai TV is showing men cleaning up blood at Government House gate.
(Source: Channel 7 screen grab)
17:02 - Thai TV is showing footage of a small group of Red Shirts pouring blood at the front gate of heavily guarded Government House.
Above: Traffic Cam - Red Shirts at Government House to pour blood at the gates
Red Shirts marching to Government House - March 16, 2010
Grenade story - 14:09, March 15, 2010
The grenade story is now on all the Thai TV channels. It appears something was fired over the wall of the Weepahwahdeerangsit Road side of the 1st Infantry Regiment near one of the gates. Two soldiers were injured and taken to hospital.
Satellite problems? - 14:02, March 15, 2010
The Red Shirts' People's Channel (PTV) appears to be off the air. This could be a technical difficulty though.
Update: This is possibly a satellite problem (perhaps related to sun outages?) as the Nation Channel is gone as well.
Update: 14:16 - The People's Channel (PTV) is back.
Red shirts disperse from 11th Infantry Regiment, head back to Phan Fa - The Nation, March 15, 2010
Right here, right now - 13:52, March 15, 2010
TAN reports: Channel 11 has reported that M-79 grenades were shot into an army camp on Vipavadee Road, injuring 2 soldiers.
Red shirts threaten to deface Government House with their own blood - The Nation, March 15, 2010
[The rhetoric on the Red Shirt stage is heated with leaders taking turns shouting angrily into the microphone in guttural, hoarse voices. It is hard to say whether this is all part of a planned sequence of events or just frustration.]
And here: 1.30pm : Nuttawut Saikua, a red shirt leader, announces that a total of three million cc of blood will be taken from one million red shirts tomorrow. If the prime minister still refuses to dissolve the House, the blood will be poured at Democrat Party, the Government House and the PM's residence.
Right here, right now: Making a stand - March 15, 2010
A traditional Thai method that allows protesters or strikers to save face is to let their leadership meet with a "person in charge" to submit a list of demands. Then the gathering can disperse with all saving face. The party being protested against is expected to make some concessions as well.
This method was used last year when pro-Thaksin groups insisted they be allowed to approach the Asean venue in Pattaya merely to submit their demands as per traditional practice. However, they tricked the government and used the opportunity to storm the venue.
It is certain the authorities are aware of this and would be loathe to allow Red Shirts to enter the base.
Protesters threaten to break into 11th Infantry Regiment - The Nation, March 15, 2010
And here: 1.08pm : red shirts leaders declare that they want to enter the 11th Infantry Regiment where peacekeeping operations commands is located. If their demand is not met, they would invade the compound. They claim they want to submit a list of demand.
The red atmosphere - Bangkok Post, March 15, 2010
[Interesting article about the situation downtown.]
...She did not think there would be any crackdown at the moment either at Bang Khen or the Ratchadamnoen, “The government is playing patience game with us, they think we will be annoyed and start some nasty things, but that’s not the way we do,” she said...
Red Shirts at the 11th Infantry Regiment - March 15, 2010
The Red Shirt media over the past 24 hours has been a steady drum beat of "the military are going to use violence against us." This message was also prominent in Thaksin's message to the crowd and sound clips allegedly saying the government was ordering the military to use force. These kind of clips are customarily played at Red Shirt gathering and are always denounced by the government and military as crude forgeries.
The 11th Infantry Regiment (a military base) would be the perfect place for a staged attack on Red Shirt protesters, fulfilling the need for outrage and putting a spark of passion in the rally.
Red Shirts heading to the 11th Infantry Regiment - March 15, 2010
At 10:00 this morning a lone motorcycle drove up and down all the inner sois along Suthisarn Road honking his horn as if to attract more people to come out and join the rally.
By 10:15 a smattering of Red Shirts on motorcycles (above) drove north on Ratachapeisek Road waving to pedestrians and waving flags.
On the way - March 15, 2010
Here are a a series of screen grabs from the Bangkok traffic jams from around the same time (at approximately 11:19) showing the Red Shirt rally moving through the city to the 11th Infantry Regiment.
Above: The main rally site on Ratachadamneorn Road (looking west)
Above: Victory Monument (looking west)
Above: Just after the Lat Prae intersection (looking north)
Above: In front of the 11th Infantry Regiment (looking south)
From Daily News, March 14, 2010
The headline reads: Giving a 4-day deadline to end - The red shirt insist to fight! - ‘Arisman’ criticizes the issuance of an arrest warrant [for him] - Raiding the plant producing M79 - Hurrying to seek for the mastermind [refers to raids on factories that had been commissioned to produce M79 grenade launchers]
From Thai Rath, March 14, 2010
The headline reads: Reds pass the checkpoints easily - Massive [numbers] in the metropolitan [area] - [Government] prepared to use the security bill - Revealed that all violent heads come together - 4-day deadline given for parliament dissolution
Suan Dusit Poll: Red Rally opinions - March 14, 2010
[A rough translation of a poll released Sunday morning.]
How are people getting information about the rallies?
Television - 68.87%
Newspapers - 12.29%
From internet/From SMS - 9.81%
Radio - 4.72%
Word of mouth - 4.31%
What info do people want from the media?
Immediate reports of events / Live reporting from the scene - 48.11%
Providing clear and straightforward information - 34.71%
Interviews with key people - 17.18%
People think that the protest rally of the Red Shirts is an expression of true democracy. True or not?
Not an expression of true democracy. - 57.14%
(Seen as a rally for one person, it is a war of nerves to generate disturbances for the government, a political game, etc.)
An expression of true democracy. - 23.81%
(Because the constitution states that the public has the right to assemble or point out what they see not to be fair, etc.)
Not sure. - 19.05%
(Because several groups have gathered with different goals and opinions.)
Lessons gathered from the protest are:
The image of Thailand in foreign eyes gets worse. - 27.30%
Damage and impact on business investment and tourism. - 25.18%
People not involved in either side must concern themselves with serious situations that occur. - 23.92%
Traffic congestion/not easy to travel. - 13.49%
The belief that Thai people love each other is not true. - 10.11%
From Thai Freedom, March, 2010
The main headline reads: Tanks for judging the game of flipping the land [This also refers to the Red Shirt claim of a "good" coup carried out by military "watermelons"--those in the military who are secretly red inside and loyal to Thaksin who will help overthrown the present government.]
It's the Red Shirts' move - March 14, 2010
For some time the Red Shirts have been insisting that a coup is imminent and is the only way out for a discredited government that cannot maintain control. They they have been hoping for this to widen their protests and open demands for a new charter and pardons for all. Some of the public might also believe that if a large group holds Bangkok "hostage" that the military would need a coup to restore order.
Today on his weekly broadcast, PM Abhisit again stressed "no need for a coup" to address this perception.
Much of the Red Shirt rhetoric has been trying to provoke fear that would lead the military to intervene--this is what is behind the anti-royal rhetoric and threats to burn Bangkok to the ground.
As the day progresses, it is coming to a time where everyone will be looking to see what the Red Shirts have in store. It will be their move. Can they really hold the city "hostage?" Would this disruption naturally lead to a house dissolution? Or a coup?
It is also worth noting that the military is already in complete control on the ground--soldiers are standing guard in critical junctures in Bangkok and in adjacent provinces. The PM himself is under military guard at the 11th Infantry Regiment. This sort of military control never even happens during an actual coup.
The military are quite happy to call the shots behind the scenes and let the government take the heat. A coup would not change any conditions on the ground and would give the Red Shirts a victory without them have to take action to do anything provocative.
It is also clear to us that the real activity is happening behind the scenes. This includes attempts to get government coalition partners to pull out of the government. Any real victory will come from these political machinations.
It seems certain that the Red Shirts must have a well-timed and provocative plan of action, perhaps with a diversionary aspect. One should never underestimate Thaksin.
However, if the Red Shirts seem to be stalling (such as remaining in place), it might indicate their plans are faltering.
Above: Image from traffic camera - It reads: Signal halts [temporarily interrupted]
Bangkok Governor dismisses CCTV’s public disclosure request - translated and summarized from Komchadluek, March 15, 2010
“Sukhunbhand” [Bangkok Governor] says the red shirt gathering expresses more Democratic intentions than previous gathering, adding that the MBA is prepared readily to dispatch ambulances for the UDD blood splashing ritual at Government House, however, he dismisses the academics’ proposal to publicly reveal the CCTV record, claiming the data is confidential information for security units...
Plea for Peace - The Nation on Facebook
From Khungthep Turakit, Column: Cartoon by Arun, March 12, 2010
The Navi is saying: Let’s watch a good movie. Relax... relax...
The woman is saying: Wai! [Thai exclamation] Avatar also comes to see the Hurt Locker
[This may also refer to the tense political atmosphere.]
U.S. Embassy statement: Statement on Planned Political Demonstrations
Thailand is a close friend and ally of the United States.
And as a long-time friend, we are closely watching the current situation in Thailand. The United States believes that differences should be addressed through Thailand’s democratic institutions and not through violence.
Peaceful demonstrations are a hallmark of a democratic society. We call on protesters and their leaders to forswear the use of violence and to exercise their right to assemble and protest peacefully, in accordance with the law. We also encourage the Royal Thai Government to exercise appropriate restraint.
Live iphone pictures from Red Shirt Samut Prakan Rally- Richard Barrow, March 12, 2010
And more here and here
Update: Thaksin denies he was expelled - Bangkok Post, March 13, 2010
Update: Thaksin arrives in Cambodia: Thai FM- The Nation, March 12, 2010
Thaksin leaves UAE for Siem Reap?- INN, March 12, 2010
INN is reporting that Thaksin will leave Dubai and speculates that he is on his way to Siem Reap in Cambodia.
|"First victim of Red Shirt violence" - Thai Visa, March 12, 2010
And an article in The Nation on this incident.
Organizers hand out cash to red-shirt people - YouTube, March 12, 2010
And an article in The Nation on this incident.
(Source: Nation Channel)
From Krungthep Turakit, March 12, 2010
The main headline reads: Government 100% assured of security beef up in preparation for the red gathering - "Red shirts’ gather at 5 spots - Pressure for parliament dissolution - Suthep assigns the Navy to standby five groups of troops for security beef up at Siriraj Hospital
From Not the Nation: Colored-shirt wearing ants convinced they make difference in Thai politics
...DAAD leader Jatuporn Promphan did his best to support the illusion of importance, stating on People Channel TV that, “No amount of vested interest, no number of army guns can stop the will of the Thai people,” while not mentioning Thaksin’s courting of Newin Chidchob and Barnhard Silapa-archa to abandon the Democrat coalition in exchange for more lucrative cabinet posts...
From Komchadluek, March 11, 2010
THe caption reads: Ready to tackle - The iron stands are being placed at the traffic booth in the Wong Wien Yai circle area in preparation for the Red Shirt gathering on March 12. The area is set as the hosting area of red shirt activities and the stage for the UDD speeches.
From Vote, Column: Cartoon by Kosin, March, 2010
Red Shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan is saying: That "M" costs 79… this "G" costs 200… how they have [good] quality?! [This plays on the names of the M79 grenades used in recent attacks and G200 bomb detectors.]
The word on the banner in the back reads: Fight to become rich
The word on the black bag reads: Poop [referring to repeated incidents of excrement being through at the PM's house.]
[This cartoon makes fun of the Red movement for allegedly fighting for Thaksin's assets.]
Abhisit can't afford to make any mistakes - Bangkok Post, March 11, 2010
...After that, they will topple the "amataya", the elite group of people whom they believe are controlling the government from behind the scenes, particularly Privy Council president Gen Prem Tinsulanonda whom the red shirts view as the man behind the forming of the current coalition government.
The prospect of the red march turning nasty has become clearer now that former PM Thaksin Shinawatra has asked his former wife Khunying Potjaman na Pombejra and children to go overseas. His reasoning is the government could take his family hostage in exchange for the red shirts dispersing. This action, however, is a repeat of what he did before the red-shirt rally turned riotous during Songkran last year...
CSD HQ under UDD seige - Bangkok Post, March 7, 2010
What things (allegedly) cost: March 12: 'most worrying day' - The Nation, March 5, 2010
...Meanwhile, Democrat MPs estimated that it would cost the red shirts about Bt70 million a day to hold their major rally in Bangkok, a Government House source said yesterday.
A group of Democrat MPs met Deputy Premier Suthep at Government House yesterday to discuss preparations for the rally. The Democrats estimated that given the fact each Pheu Thai MP was expected to hire 200 pickup trucks to carry people joining the rally at Bt3,000-Bt3,500 for each vehicle, as well as Bt300 in daily allowance for each participant, it would cost Bt70 million a day to hold the rally, according to the source.
The bomb threat - March 3, 2010
There was much discussion Tuesday of the possibly drunken YouTube bomb threats of Maj. Gen. Khattiya Sawasdipol's aide.
Update: This video was here and here, but seemed to have been censored or removed.
Suthep orders police to take action against Khattiya's aide over bomb threat - The Nation, March 2, 2010
Thailand offers tourists free insurance - Thailandnews.net, March 3, 2010
Faeces thrown at Democrat HQ - Bangkok Post, March 2, 2010
[Interesting descriptive phrase in this piece: "poo-chucker"]
AdFest cancels Thailand show due to political unrest - AdAge.com, March 1, 2010
Thanks to Thailand's stormy political outlook, which could easily turn violent, AdFest has cancelled this month's festival, one of Asia's top annual gatherings for the ad industry, but hopes to reschedule the event in May...
This billboard on Phisanulok Road reads: Before the country is damaged… help stop the violence! The “good awareness for Thai harmony” project
Ordaining 100,000 monks - March 2, 2010
The banner reads: Free ordaining - born to be a Buddhist man, one ought to ordain to compensate one's parents - gathering the power to revive the world's morality by a nationwide monk team - Group ordaining of 100,000 monks from every village nationwide - January 14-March 8, 2010 at the Dhammakaya Temple and other temples nationwide. To apply, call (02)831-1234 www.dmyCenter.com
|[Thaksin has had a close relationship with Dhammakaya. The movement has been sponsored by Thaksin-controlled political groups and has staunchly supported Thaksin. At right is a pot with the TRT logo at a Buddhist shrine showing the interweaving of Thaksin's political machine and the Dhammakaya movement.
Of the numerous Thaksin-era scandals was the attempt to appoint a new Supreme Patriarch aligned with Dhammakaya.
So when the above banners when up throughout the country in recent weeks, rumors began circulating that these novice monks would be used as human shields in the Red Shirt march on Bangkok.
Dhammakaya has made weird historical claims including this one about the bombing of Bangkok during WWII: At that time the inhabitants of the neighbourhood gazed up at the skies and were surprised to see large numbers of nuns from Wat Paknam floating in the air, intercepting the bombs dropped by the bombers and patting them with their bare hands to fall harmlessly in the water or uninhabited areas of forest.
It was also claimed that the Allies were going to test the first Atomic bomb by dropping it on Bangkok and that meditation by holy men prevented this.
In the early 2000s there were a number of bizarre Dhammakaya teachings like this in English on the web, but they have all disappeared.
More on Dhammakaya here, here, here, here, and here.]
(Photo: 2Bangkok.com from 2012)