Also: Red Protests 2010
Thai ‘perfect storm’ may drive investors to bonds from stocks - Business Week, April 9, 2010
...Sodsatit said he expects the index to fall back to 650 from 800 levels...
It's time for Thais to vote - Gulfnews.com, April 9, 2010
A poll would lead to the creation of a new government capable of restoring stability...
Bangkok officials taken from dangerous city - Argentina Star, April 7, 2010
Thailand Isn't the Safest Place to Be Traveling To Right Now - janunted.com, April 8, 2010
China behind improvement in relations between Cambodia and Thailand - Khmer Intelligence, April 9, 2010
China behind improvement in relations between Cambodia and Thailand (2)
Two reliable diplomatic sources have indicated that China recently put strong pressure on the Cambodian government to stop stirring up trouble in Thailand by openly interfering in the neighbouring country's internal affairs. China wants to preserve peace and stability in South-East Asia and wants to prevent Vietnam from gaining more influence in the region. Vietnam is believed to be behind Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen's aggressive behaviour aimed at weakening Thailand. This was already the case in the violent anti-Thai riots in Phnom Penh in January 2003.
Water cannons and tear gas uses as Reds attempt to overrun Thaicom building - April 9, 2010
Red shirts storm into station, seizing police trucks - The Nation, April 9, 2010
Some 10 red-shirt protesters injured - The Nation, April 9, 2010
Red shirts enter ThaiCom compound - The Nation, April 9, 2010
Red-shirt Protesters Storm Thaicom Gate, Tear Gas Fired at Protesters - TAN, April 9, 2010
Red shirts beginning rallies at two ThaiCom sites - The Nation, April 9, 2010
Signs on Silom - April 9, 2010
The sign reads: Thailand loves peace
The sign reads: Welcome gatherers to the peace zone
(Source: NBT screen grab)
PM on TV - 21:15, April 8, 2010
PM Abhisit is on TV explaining why the government decided to close PTV. The reason given is that PTV was spreading deliberate misinformation to inflame the situation such as the government was preparing to wage a war on Thai people. He also explains arrest warrants have been issued for the Red Shirts leaders.
New Politics Party head office attacked with M79 grenade, M16 ammunition - The Nation, April 8, 2010
TPI building hit with M79 grenade, M16 shots - The Nation, April 8, 2010
Another M79 attack aimed at Anupong's office in Army HQ - The Nation, April 8, 2010
Real riots: Kyrgyzstan - April 6, 2010
From Google News: Protestors rioting in Kyrgyzstan have killed the interior minister, are holding the deputy prime minister hostage and have taken over state television...
[During the airport seizure in late 2008 and the Songkran riots of 2009, inquires we received started with, "as of now, what is the death toll?"
The bottom line is that an emergency without a death toll is hardly considered an emergency at all in comparison to unrest in the rest of the world. Firing tear gas is usually one of the first actions taken when crowds march into prohibited areas.
It is also remarkable that Thai authorities constantly claim that security forces are completely unarmed and will not use force. What a change from pervious history when the military was quite prepared to sacrifice the mob for the "good of the nation" or their own ambitions.]
Foreign media weighs in on fate of Abhisit administration - TAN, April 7, 2010
[We are not sure if the foreign press in general has any real concept of the alleged "failings" of the government as TAN attempts to outline here. The real pressure for action against the Red Shirts is coming internally.]
...All together, a general consensus has emerged among foreign analysts of Thailand's situation; that the government is failing on three accounts.
The first account is the government's failure to counteract the red-shirt group's propaganda machine.
The second issue is the government's failure to enforce the law, allowing the red-shirt group to threaten security and infringe on the rights of the wider public.
The final factor is that the government has failed to reassure both the Thai public and foreign investors that it can reestablish economic stability...
|Anti-dissolution Facebook group - April 8, 2010|
PTV channel off the air - 23:05, April 7, 2010
[PTV is the Red Shirt channel. It appears to have been taken off the air, presumably by Deputy PM Suthep Tuagsuban who is in charge of the State of Emergency implementation.
PTV has been broadcasting the doctored audio of PM Abhisit supposedly ordering a bloody crackdown during the April 2009 rioting last year. After the State of Emergency declaration tonight, the audio clip was played several more times on the channel.
|This recording has been acknowledged as fake and there were no known deaths or missing persons at the hands of the military, but the Red Shirts have apparently had remarkable success using claims of military brutality last April to add people to their cause.
The government has come under intense fire for being ineffective in combating this type of Red Shirt misinformation.]
Right: Screen on the PTV channel. It reads: Apologizing for the satellite signal problem
(Source: NBT frame grab)
More government announcements
22:00 - Suthep, flanked by all top generals, asks people not to believe rumors.
|Capture of a military policeman - TAN, April 7, 2010
[Interesting photos of Red Shirt guards "capturing" a military policeman in parliament and taking his weapons.]
(Source: NBT frame grab)
|Arisman again - April 7, 2010
It was almost one year ago that Arisman Pongruangrong (left) led the storming of the Cliff Beach Resort in Pattaya which forced the cancellation of the Asean Summit.
Today Arisman led the charge into the Thai parliament building causing officials to escape over a back wall via ladders and leading to a state of emergency declaration in Bangkok.
Red-shirts declare war against government - TAN, April 7, 2010
The red-shirt group has declared war against the government after a state of emergency was announced. It encouraged supporters nationwide to lay seige to provincial town halls.
(Source: NBT screen grab)
Above: Government and security forces reading out the state of emergency declaration
State of emergency declared - April 7, 2010
Thai email forwards: Rural buffalos - April 7, 2010
Abhisit red-faced - The Nation, April 7, 2010
Hun Sen's U-turn marks tough time for Thaksin - Bangkok Post, April 7, 2010
From Komchadluek, April 6, 2010
The headline reads: Turbulence wreaked late at night as bomb attack targeted to NBT occurred - 'Poseidon' car bomb attack - Business area closure – Arrest warrant urged to be issue for the reds
[The photo shows a car bomb that went off in the parking lot of the Poseidon massage parlor on Ratachaapeisek Road. The Poseidon is a family business connected to Commerce Minister Porntiva Nakhasai of the Bhum Jai Thai Party.
As these sex-related business are controlled by mafia/police/political figures and colossal sums of bribe money are paid to police to allow them to operate, it was immediately assumed that this event was likely not related to the Red Shirts, but was part of a tussle between underworld figures.
At the top left is a drawing of King Rama I to commemorate Chakri Memorial Day.]
Rear window - April 6, 2010
This is an odd photo supposedly showing a sick baby in a vehicle surrounded by Red Shirts. It is hard to understand the oddly stretched image of the man (top left) in the back window. Is this a Photoshopped image?
Caption and photo here and here: A child cries out of shock after red-shirt protesters surrounded her vehicle and broke the windshield. The mother tried to drive through the crowd to take the child to a nearby hospital.
Update: Another view of the sick baby pickup is here. It seems that the Nation photograph could have been altered to put a Red Shirt in the back window.
Update: Another set of photos of the incident from Manager. The same view as the Nation shot here (showing the same two men in the rear window as in the above photo) and here. The rear window view in these Manager shots looks much more natural.
(Source: NBT screen grab)
Right here, right now: PM says govt will not give up attempts to restore normalcy - The Nation, April 6, 2010
(Source: NBT screen grab)
PM Abhisit addressing the nation on all Thai channels - 16:20, April 6, 2010
FLASH NEWS: Bomb attacks at two more locations- TAN, April 6, 2010
Grenade explosion at Democrat Party HG - 15:45, April 6, 2010
INN is reporting a grenade exploded at Democrat Party HQ and two were injured.
The Nation Channel is reporting that the Red Shirts are occupying the Silom-Rama IV intersection
Chiang Rai Red-shirts Close off Provincial Hall - TAN, April 6, 2010
The Chiang Rai red-shirt group has closed off the entrance to the provincial hall.
Red-shirt groups elsewhere in the North and Northeast have threatened to lay siege to their provincial halls if the rally in Bangkok is dispersed.
Red shirts renew plan to defy orders to 11 roads - The Nation, April 6, 2010
Kwanchai cancels plan to go to Democrat HQ but will march to Silom - The Nation, April 6, 2010
Red-shirt motorcycles block exit to Lumpinee Park - TAN, April 6, 2010
Jatuporn plays Abhisits' doctored audio clip to incite protesters- The Nation, April 6, 2010
Kwanchai will lead protesters to besiege Democrat head office - The Nation, April 6, 2010
[Kwanchai leads the "We Love Udon" group. The group was formed when the People Power Party was in power to physically attack the PAD when they rallied in the Northeast.]
Doctored clip again - 12:33, April 6, 2010
The Nation Channel is reporting that the Red Shirt leaders are once again playing the doctored audio clip of PM Abhisit ordering a crackdown on protesters. This clip was apparently edited together from conversations in April 2009 to give the impression the PM is planning a violent crackdown. Abhisit has threatened legal action in the past when the clip was played.
BREAKING NEWS: Red-shirts cancel plans for today's mobile rally - TAN, April 6, 2010
[It should be noted that this follows the government's tact of dealing with the Red Shirts recently--give them leeway, then finally call their bluff. The Red Shirts have quickly backed down in each case.]
Reds push against police lines- Bangkok Post, April 6, 2010
[Some good photos...]
(Source: Channel 5 screen grab)
Spokesman explaining the situation on all Thai channels
- Claims no crackdown is in progress
- Troops are unarmed
- Troops will "pressure" protesters to leave the area
(Technically this is the CAPO (capothai.org) which is handling security surrounding recent events.)
From Thai-language news reports:
- All shopping malls around Rajprasong closed today
- Skytrain Rajdamri Station closed
- Troops continue to arrive in the Rajprasong area
Red-shirts to storm Democrat Party and PM's residence if prohibited from marching - TAN, April 6, 2010
A large group of red-shirt protesters have surrounded the Democrat Party headquarters, threatening to storm the building if they are forbidden to lead a convoy through 11 key routes in Bangkok today. They also threatened to invade the PM's residence as well...
Defaced Red Shirt signs - April 6, 2010
These signs are on Weepahwahdeeransit Road.
The sign reads: Non-Violence – Peace - [parliament dissolution] is Thailand’s solution - National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship
Earlier: Democrat posters defaced
(Source: Voice of Taksin, April 18, 2010)
M79 - Voice of Taksin, April 18, 2010
The quote reads: Therefore, Thailand has no ability to produce the M79 weapon so the object seized by the police is merely the material of the M79 gun to export to a mother company in a foreign country. The government is wise [refers here to the legendary character of Sri Thanonchai] to create a plot aimed at disgracing the Red Shirts with no regard to the damage of the economic sector. [This refers to the government seizure of M79 launchers in Ayutthaya late last month. Like many items in the Red Shirt publications, it denies an accusation (connection to the M79 incidents) while other parts of the article (including the illustration above) seem to threaten government officials.]
More from the Red Shirt publications
100 red shirts storm into EC head office - The Nation, April 5, 2010
Protesters prepared to break into EC head office building - The Nation, April 5, 2010
600 red-shirt protesters head to NBT head office - The Nation, April 5, 2010
Red-shirt protesters breach barriers, Officials at EC HQ urged to leave - TAN, April 5, 2010
Above: Red Shirts in front of Mahboonkrong. The banner on the side has a photo of Thaksin as Superman and reads: UDD-Red Sakhonnakorn, Phangkon District
We cannot make out the banner on the front, except the words "aristocrat government”
Closing streets - April 3, 2010
The Red Shirts appear to be trying to implement the strategy they threatened before the present Bangkok rallies started--that protesters would spread out in an attempt to paralyze the city. The second part of that original threat was that protesters would roam the city and burn buildings, cause chaos, etc.
Now that the first part of the threat has finally been put into place, it is a possibility that the second part might come into play as well. While it is clear that the Red Shirts' present peaceful methods are not having an impact, more open action would again tend to discredit the movement like it did last April during Songkran.
At the moment the government seems content to let the Red Shirts annoy the public with road closures while waiting out the crowds that are thought will leave en masse before the Songkran holidays.
In 2006, when the PAD dared to protest in the heart of the city, it caused considered annoyance from the public and they quickly withdrew back to the downtown government areas.
Above: From Voice of Taksin, March 1-16, 2010
The caption reads: Special campaign to greet the coup festival - Cheer up, Thaksin! – Do not throw more than 2 bottles a day!
[Employing Molotov cocktails has been often mentioned in Red Shirt speeches. Men carrying Molotov cocktails were a prominent feature of the April, 2009 rioting. In this cartoon, imagery and advertising slogans from a popular energy drink are used along with the warning on the bottle advises not to drink more than two bottles per day. More from the Red Shirt publications]
Here come the threats...
Arisman vows to prevent Abhisit from returning home, Government House - The Nation, April 3, 2010
Veera threatens to burn NACC head office - The Nation, April 3, 2010
Jatuporn vows to lead protesters to besiege BMA - The Nation, April 3, 2010
Moment of the "verbal clash" - 13:17, April 2, 2010
From Phujatkan Weekly, March 27-April 4, 2010
The headline reads: Toppling the highness, clinging to highness [Refers to accusations that Thaksin opposes royalty and has grandiose aspirations. Phujatkan has led the way in opening airing these controversial claims in the Thai-language print media.]
At the bottom: Loyal? Lighting the ‘red candle’ showing the ‘foot clapper’ for royally veneration, p.8
[The refers to the UDD candle lighting ceremony to honor HM The King on March 24, 2010. Viriya Chawakul, a confidant to Her Majesty the Queen and acquaintance of Thaksin, also joined in the ceremony. As a person close to royalty, her participation in a Red Shirt rally was widely discussed and analyzed in the media.]
Blood used in Red Shirt protest tainted with severe communicable diseases: medics - TNA, April 1, 2010
The dark side of skin-whitening cream - Guardian, April 1, 2010
The dangerous fashion for skin-whitening across Asia perpetuates racism and should be stigmatised as such...
[Not sure if this is an April Fools' joke or not. We do not think we have seen an article like this before where a writer views Asian whitening creams in a completely Western context--as an example of racism.]