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Thailand announces state of emergency in capital
Yahoo/AP ^

Posted on 04/12/2009 6:37:50 AM PDT by nuconvert

BANGKOK – Thailand's prime minister narrowly escaped a savage attack and rioting erupted in Bangkok as protesters commandeered public buses and swarmed triumphantly over military vehicles in unchecked defiance after the government declared a state of emergency.

Bands of red-shirted anti-government protesters roamed areas of the Thai capital, with some smashing a car carrying Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and others beating up motorists who hurled insults at them.

At least 10 intersections were occupied by the protesters, who used buses to barricade several major roads, spawning massive traffic jams.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: assassinationplot; bangkok; thailand; vejjajiva
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Yes, Thailand ;~ )
1 posted on 04/12/2009 6:37:50 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: nuconvert

Oh my.


2 posted on 04/12/2009 6:43:50 AM PDT by ichabod1 (I am rolling over in my grave and I am not even dead yet (GOP Poet))
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To: nuconvert

What exactly are these “protestors” demanding?


3 posted on 04/12/2009 6:44:11 AM PDT by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: nuconvert

Are these “redshirts” the same as the “yellowshirts” that were raising hell a few months ago? This will get played down in the MSM-nothing to see here move on-since they have coups all the time in Thialand.


4 posted on 04/12/2009 6:44:40 AM PDT by GILTN1stborn
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To: GILTN1stborn

commies?


5 posted on 04/12/2009 6:47:36 AM PDT by ichabod1 (I am rolling over in my grave and I am not even dead yet (GOP Poet))
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To: nuconvert
If Thaksin regains power, all the starts and stops of progress since 1970’s will be for nothing. This is a power trip for the former PM. The Yellow Shirts were certainly not all sweetness and light but more instability and corruption are intolerable. Neither side is anything to write home about but the Red Shirts are unacceptable to a modern emerging nation. One man's ego is at the center of all this.
6 posted on 04/12/2009 6:52:43 AM PDT by JimSEA
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To: vladimir998
What exactly are these “protestors” demanding?

That the current Government step down and new elections to take place. Kind of a coup for a coup for a counter coup! The only Thai PM to serve not one but almost two full terms was the reason behind the first Coup and the Redshirts are supporters of him.

7 posted on 04/12/2009 6:53:48 AM PDT by jedi150
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To: nuconvert

Things are going from bad to worse over there....


8 posted on 04/12/2009 6:54:28 AM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: jedi150
Looks like Thailand needs to back to being a Monarchy.
9 posted on 04/12/2009 6:58:59 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: anniegetyourgun
Things are going from bad to worse over there....

Depends on what block you are standing at in Bangkok. Amazing that Political strife exists on one street and you can walk a block to Party central for Songkran Holiday!

10 posted on 04/12/2009 6:59:02 AM PDT by jedi150
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To: vladimir998
What exactly are these “protestors” demanding?

Rule of Thumb: Whenever protesters are tearing-up-the-place with large, vague demands,i.e., "End the War Now!", "Power to the People!", "Down with Capitalists!" you can bet the farm these are professional, leftist , and rent-a-mob protesters.

Genuine, local protests who are up in arms protest real, specific things, i.e., "Bring Back the Eight Hour Work Days!", "Down with Greenies! More Coal!", "Fix the Roads!!"

11 posted on 04/12/2009 6:59:07 AM PDT by yankeedame ("Oh, I can take it but I'd much rather dish it out.")
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To: yankeedame

No.


12 posted on 04/12/2009 7:00:43 AM PDT by jedi150
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To: nuconvert; ichabod1; vladimir998; GILTN1stborn

I guess our FR correspondents in Thailand have gone to bed for the evening :)


13 posted on 04/12/2009 7:13:00 AM PDT by angkor
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To: nuconvert; ichabod1; vladimir998; GILTN1stborn; JimSEA; jedi150

>>>> I guess our FR correspondents in Thailand have gone to bed for the evening :) <<<<<

Correcting myself, looks like they are awake!


14 posted on 04/12/2009 7:15:48 AM PDT by angkor
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To: angkor

To hot to stay in a room with a computer running tonight for too long. And it is getting late and time to go to sleep. Interesting day today here with the Protests and Songkran happening all within blocks of each other. TiT


15 posted on 04/12/2009 7:21:51 AM PDT by jedi150
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To: yankeedame; JimSEA; Red_Devil 232

yankeedame; two points: Thailand is not a European nation, and it’s sometimes a good idea to learn something about a situation before you start making judgement calls.

What the Red Shirts are protesting is power abuse by the government that was put in place after a military coup.....

JimSEA; from what I’ve seen, most of the Thai progress made in the past 30 years was made by Thaksin.....all of the court cases against him have been absurd. Is justice served when the supreme court decides a case in two hours and refuses to hear any evidence from the defense?

red; Thailand is a monarchy, a constitutional monarchy.

Todays violence by the red shirts seems to be all about a new gang, the blue shirts, who appear to be government people out of uniform, possibly army or junior beauracrats, who violently attacked peaceful demonstrators yesterday.


16 posted on 04/12/2009 7:29:05 AM PDT by jimtorr
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To: jimtorr

Yep.


17 posted on 04/12/2009 7:33:02 AM PDT by jedi150
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To: jimtorr
First, Thaksin rearranged the Constitution to enable his business sale.

Second, Thaksin attacks Prem as an approach to getting rid of the Monarchy. The King really pissed him off as did Prem as the King's agent. The King's daughter Sirenthorn (sp?) would make a good King in the Rama IX mold. The crown Prince -- Not too good.

Second, Thaksin was a populist that pushed a 30 Bht medical plan which has brought all the evils of socialized medicine. The government hospitals have declined since the 30 bht scheme.

Third, The 1 mil bht per village scheme was largely a payoff to the local supporters and a big factor in the Northern and Northeastern Thaksin support.

Fourth, Red shirts have told me they are being paid 500 bht a day to protest. In addition, the business interests behind Thaksin are in it for the money just like the Abhist supporters are behind the Democrats. Lose - lose for the small businessman.

Fifth, the TRT had become a one party dictatorship which would return with Thaksin.

Sixth, all lawsuits in Thailand are a joke and excuse for more meaningless polemics.

The main argument against Thaksin is his ego and thirst for power.

18 posted on 04/12/2009 7:48:59 AM PDT by JimSEA
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To: nuconvert

Red shirts make them easier to shoot.

I know some people who plan to retire in Thailand, claiming, among other things, that the dollar goes five times further, especially for food, belongings. I don’t know if the government allows gun possession, but I’d hate to live in a country that could be overthrown by communists any time.


19 posted on 04/12/2009 7:56:15 AM PDT by Mad_Tom_Rackham (What did Obama's Teleprompter know, and when did it know it...)
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To: yankeedame
Rule of Thumb: Whenever protesters are tearing-up-the-place with large, vague demands,i.e., "End the War Now!", "Power to the People!", "Down with Capitalists!" you can bet the farm these are professional, leftist , and rent-a-mob protesters.

Useful idiot rabble, psyched up for use by the true believers.

20 posted on 04/12/2009 8:06:17 AM PDT by Mad_Tom_Rackham (What did Obama's Teleprompter know, and when did it know it...)
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To: JimSEA

Bangkok and the elite wish to enslave the rest of Thailand. Consider this as Washington and its elite.

Thaksin has been mischararacterized badly. He actually is a poulist himself. The reality is that he was elected, reelected, and will be reelected again if he is allowed to return and run.


21 posted on 04/12/2009 8:15:06 AM PDT by BillM
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To: jedi150
Thailand is one of my favorite places in the world to vacation. Not so much Bangkok but Chiang Mai.

I was wondering if the problem was wide spread, but it sounds a though a tourist could still be relatively safe visiting.

22 posted on 04/12/2009 8:17:15 AM PDT by w1andsodidwe (Jimmy Carter(the Godfather of Terror) allowed radical Islam to get a foothold in Iran.)
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To: nuconvert
Thailand has been a kingdom for centuries. In 1932 the absolute monarchy was abolished and a democracy was established. The current monarch, King Bhumibol, has been on the throne since 1946. The King was born in the U.S. and the country is the most pro-Western nation in that part of the world.

Between its inception and 1997, Thailand had a number of pseudo-constitutions and a number of coups occurred. That year, the country adopted a real constitution. Thaksin Shinawatra, a police officer-turned-businessman, founded the TRT party which was elected in 2001 by a majority of votes and he became Prime Minister; Thaksin was reelected in 2005 -- the first reelection in Thai history. In early 2006, pretty much continuous street protetsts were staged by PAD (aka the "yellow shirts"); in response, Thaksin organized a "snap" vote or referendum and won it. The "yellow shirts" are called that because the King's colors are yellow and PAD claims to support the monarchy. During his regime, Thaksin was repeated charged with corruption; he was tried once in a Thai court early in his administration and was acquitted. The mantra of Thaksin's opponents is that he is corrupt but "where's the beef?"

In September of 2006, a military junta staged a coup while Thaksin out of the country. The junta leaders, known finally as the CNS, issued a new constitution then installed their own Prime Minister and replaced all of the judges in the three highest courts. They also put their own people on the Election Commission. The Election Commission in Thailand is allowed to nullify elections. Thecourts also abolished Thaksin's party and ruled that those politicians could not run for office for five years.

Apparently most people did not like the new junta-friendly constitution so another was drawn up and voted upon. It passed. In December 2007, parliamentary elections were held. The TRT's successor party PPP received 233 of 480 votes and took office. PAD continued to stage street demonstrations in 2008, occupying Government House and laterbo th Bangkok airports, preventing all airliners from landing or taking off for a two-week period. Apparently some visitors to Thailand were prevented from leaving the airport during that time.

In mid-2008 the Courts and the Election Commission removed enough PPP and allied legislators on questionable pretexts that the Democrat Party was able to form a government with the aid of some former PPP members.

Since the 2006 coup, the courts have seized all of Thaksin's assets in the country (about $2 billion worth) and have convicted him in absentia of tax evasion. He is currently a fugitive from justice curretly probably in Asia somewhere. The evidence against him, as described in the Thai press, looks pretty weak; he would never have been convicted in an American court.

Thaksin is much more popular across the country than the Democrat PM, whose supports seems to be mainly in Bangkok. His supporters are called the UDD (aka "red shirts"); they assembled in Bangkok in huge numbers on April 8 and basically have shut down downtown Bangkok. Their demands are twofold: Remove the illegally-installed Democrats from power and restore the 1997 Constitution.

Another coup, staged by the Army as before, seems very likely. I don't see the government backing down nor the protesters. Since 1932 there have been 17 coups d'etat in Thailand and people are dreading another. I wonder if the monarchy will survive another coup.
23 posted on 04/12/2009 8:25:55 AM PDT by normanpubbie
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To: w1andsodidwe

I am in Central Thailand and the problems are in BKK and Pattaya. Nothing changes here, pretty much everyday life. Song Kran is getting a head of steam going and will be pretty wild for the next week. A few low level protests around the country and in NE. Most up this way are strong supporters of the Red “REPUBLICAN” faction with one small protest some months ago by a very small, “10” group of PAD people. The Reds won’t pull the same BS in the Airport like the Yellow did and go unpunished for it so I would say it is safe to travel there but good idea to head for you destination asap.


24 posted on 04/12/2009 8:28:21 AM PDT by jedi150
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To: jedi150

Back in about 1977, I was living up-country in Loei and there was a military takeover. I heard about it on the news :)

Haven’t heard anything from my sister-in-law in Nakorn Pathom, so I assume it’s just another day in paradise.


25 posted on 04/12/2009 10:49:26 AM PDT by USMCPOP (Father of LCpl. Karl Linn, KIA 1/26/2005 Al Haqlaniyah, Iraq)
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To: normanpubbie

>> I wonder if the monarchy will survive another coup. <<

The monarchy will survive as long as the King is alive. But he’s in his 80’s and very frail. Probably can’t hold on too much longer. After he’s gone all bets are off. Many observers are predicting disaster and chaos. In fact, I don’t think it’s implausible to think that ten years from now, Thailand will almost have become another Burma.


26 posted on 04/12/2009 5:15:16 PM PDT by Hawthorn
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To: nuconvert

LOL!


27 posted on 04/12/2009 5:16:27 PM PDT by rabidralph
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To: jedi150

Depends on what block you are standing at in Bangkok. Amazing that Political strife exists on one street and you can walk a block to Party central for Songkran Holiday!


or you can come up here to the hills above Chiang Mai and no one is paying attention to all that. Ho Hum, more political crap way down in Bangkok...AGAIN.


28 posted on 04/12/2009 5:24:04 PM PDT by rontorr (It's just my opinion, but I am RIGHT!)
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To: jimtorr

Great response bro


29 posted on 04/12/2009 5:27:12 PM PDT by rontorr (It's just my opinion, but I am RIGHT!)
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To: JimSEA

another typical Farang Thaksin hater/PAD lover style comment, obviously not living out in the country where the real ( 80%of the people) live. For 90% of the red shirt backers it is not even about Thaksin, it is about the uneven power distribution between the Aristocracy and Ruling Elite and the reast of the country


30 posted on 04/12/2009 5:33:16 PM PDT by rontorr (It's just my opinion, but I am RIGHT!)
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To: jedi150

seems like us country boys agree on a few things


31 posted on 04/12/2009 5:36:45 PM PDT by rontorr (It's just my opinion, but I am RIGHT!)
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To: AdmSmith; Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; george76; ...

If this were Burma, the gov’t would just send in the Rangoon squad.


32 posted on 04/12/2009 5:38:04 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________ Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: rontorr
For 90% of the red shirt backers it is not even about Thaksin, it is about the uneven power distribution between the Aristocracy and Ruling Elite and the reast of the country

Like I have said many times in regard to this, It's a Urban vs Rural struggle. Very similar to Oregon in the since of the North Willamette valley controlling the entire State of Oregon.

On the bigger example it's like Washington DC controlling the entire USA!

33 posted on 04/12/2009 6:03:11 PM PDT by jedi150
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To: rontorr
I live in San Sai, just north of Chiang Mai and near the center of the Thaksin empire. I also spend a considerable time in Phrae — Rong Kat actually. Many of Thaksin’s opponents are, in fact, well educated. Just the sort that Pol Pot executed in Cambodia. Now Thaksin calls for a revolution. Is Thailand headed toward a Zimbabwe or Khmer Rouge solution to it's political turmoil?
34 posted on 04/12/2009 6:06:20 PM PDT by JimSEA
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To: GILTN1stborn

Kind of an idea for our Tea Parties.


35 posted on 04/12/2009 6:38:21 PM PDT by fella (.He that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough." Pv.28:19')
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To: anniegetyourgun
Things are going from bad to worse over there....

Is this going to adversely affect their main source of income the pedophile/tourism business? If so where all educators go for vacation?

36 posted on 04/12/2009 6:47:47 PM PDT by fella (.He that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough." Pv.28:19')
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To: anniegetyourgun
Things are going from bad to worse over there....

Is this going to adversely affect their main source of income the pedophile/tourism business? If so where all educators go for vacation?

37 posted on 04/12/2009 6:48:06 PM PDT by fella (.He that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough." Pv.28:19')
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To: anniegetyourgun
Things are going from bad to worse over there....

Is this going to adversely affect their main source of income the pedophile/tourism business? If so where will all our educators go for vacation?

38 posted on 04/12/2009 6:48:27 PM PDT by fella (.He that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough." Pv.28:19')
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To: GILTN1stborn
Are these “redshirts” the same as the “yellowshirts” that were raising hell a few months ago?

The red shirts are holding demonstrations counter to what the yellow shirts were doing last year. They are on exact opposite sides of the political spectrum. The yellows were in favor of an oligarchy and removing the democratic process from Thailand since their candidates couldn't win in elections. The reds, at least on paper, want democracy returned to the country.

39 posted on 04/12/2009 8:02:56 PM PDT by killjoy (Life sucks, wear a helmet.)
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To: JimSEA

Trivia time. Who was the last democratically elected PM in Thailand?


40 posted on 04/12/2009 8:04:49 PM PDT by killjoy (Life sucks, wear a helmet.)
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To: Hawthorn
Your point is well-taken. One has to walk on eggshells when discussing the Thai royal family as Thailand has perhaps the most severe lese majeste laws in the world. Just last week Suwicha, a Thai, was sentenced to 10 years in jail for photoshopping pictures of the King and posting them on Youtube three years ago. Note that in the past, the King has pardoned those convicted of lese majeste a few months after their convictions.

My choice to be Bhumibol's successor would be his daughter Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. When natural disaster or terrorist activity has struck, she has typically traveled to the area to hand out relief supplies and to give the locals moral support. She seems to be a good-hearted person. Of course, I have no say in the selection of the next monarch.

The key to understanding what will happen in the future is knowing what happened in the past. In 2008, PAD seized and held the Government House compound for about a month. During the street demonstrations, one PAD protester died when a tear gas canister hit her and exploded. Since then, there have been calls for criminal investigations and prosecutions of the police handling of the riot back then. Although charges were filed against the protest leaders for the government compound seizure, they were immediately released and the charges were apparently dropped. Emboldened, PAD then took over the airports. One of the Thai courts recently decided that since the yellow shirts had relinquished both airport, they would not be tried for their actions since, after all, they were no longer in possession of the airports. One sometimes has to suspend reality to understand the actions of the Thai courts.

Treatment of the red shirts has been much more severe. This past Wednesday the red shirts besieged the Asean summit being held this week and entered the property where it was held. The Thai PM wisely called the summit off. There are no reports that the summit participants were harmed or threatened in any way. The police seized the leader of the siege and he is apparently still in custody. It's this disparity of treatment by the government between the red shirts and the yellow shirts that will exacerbate the situation. Thais tend to be fair-minded people with a cultural prohibition against political violence.

The latest reports indicate that riot police have engaged the red shirts with shields and that a number of red shirts were taken away on stretchers.

If there are multiple deaths among the red shirts, the situation is very likely to spiral out of control.

Here's how I think this situation will end. Thaksin Shinawatra will be returned to his elective office. If an honest election is later held, he would win it. I figure that Prem Tinsulanonda and the members of the Council of National Security that ran the junta will be retired and stripped of all power.
41 posted on 04/12/2009 8:25:30 PM PDT by normanpubbie
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To: normanpubbie
After the 2006 coup, the government should have shut up about Thaksin. He would have dissapeared into insignificance. Instead, they used Thaksin as the reason they were unable to run the country. The ball was in their court and they had no idea what to do with it. Instead of trying to lead, they just kept attacking and attacking. The government made Thaksin into this bizarro superman.

The Police/Army had a hands off approach after the Oct 7th violence. The Police were abandoned after the violence that occurred by everyone in a position of power. This included being condemned by the Queen by her appearing at the funeral of the girl killed when a tear gas canister exploded. If you were a member of the RTP, why would you put your life on the line when the only possible outcome is condemnation? That situation was never resolved and I am sure it is what is causing a similar lack of the use of force now.

I don't know what the end game is going to be, but as long as there is a difference in the treatment between PAD/UDD, this is going to continue. At the risk of using the old cliche, without justice, there will not be peace. Sending the military after the reds/UDD while letting the yellows/PAD have a free ride is just going to cause the situation to get worse.

If I was PM Abhisit, I would wash my hands of it. I would go on TV, resign my position and return to the private sector. Let whoever wants the job have it.

42 posted on 04/12/2009 9:32:50 PM PDT by killjoy (Life sucks, wear a helmet.)
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To: killjoy

Thaksin for sure or Samak arguably. Obama and Huey Long are among many democratically elected American politicians. One of the many weaknesses of democracy is that the people can vote to do away with democracy.


43 posted on 04/12/2009 11:52:13 PM PDT by JimSEA
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To: JimSEA
Thaksin for sure or Samak arguably. One of the many weaknesses of democracy is that the people can vote to do away with democracy.

Except in Thailand, a coup was used to do away with democracy and the violence today in BKK is directly because of it.

44 posted on 04/12/2009 11:58:34 PM PDT by killjoy (Life sucks, wear a helmet.)
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To: All

My daughter (age 15) is supposed to do some volunteer work in Thailand this summer ..Any one care to comment on how safe it is and will be?


45 posted on 04/13/2009 12:06:31 AM PDT by woofie
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To: killjoy
a coup was used to do away with democracy

Or had Thaksin and TRT already killed democracy with a one party system?? In any case, I am not defending the coup but don't want Thaksin's revenge to destroy the country.

46 posted on 04/13/2009 12:22:56 AM PDT by JimSEA
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To: JimSEA
Or had Thaksin and TRT already killed democracy with a one party system?? In any case, I am not defending the coup but don't want Thaksin's revenge to destroy the country.

The government has made Thaksin into some kind of superman. The non-TRT government has been completely impotent and unable to rule without mentioning Thaksin on a daily basis to prop up their own failures. If Thaksin was/is so powerful, bring him back. At least when he was PM you didn't have people taking over airports and the senseless BS you are seeing now.

47 posted on 04/13/2009 12:33:57 AM PDT by killjoy (Life sucks, wear a helmet.)
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To: woofie
My daughter (age 15) is supposed to do some volunteer work in Thailand this summer ..Any one care to comment on how safe it is and will be?

As safe as anywhere else. Don't worry about it. Let her come over and have the time of her life. I wish I had the same opportunity when I was 15.

48 posted on 04/13/2009 12:35:05 AM PDT by killjoy (Life sucks, wear a helmet.)
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To: woofie
My daughter (age 15) is supposed to do some volunteer work in Thailand this summer ..Any one care to comment on how safe it is and will be?

By all means, will be the experience of a lifetime. 99% of the country is safe with only a few hot spots this week! Just came back home from downtown Phits. and enjoyed the Chaos of Song Kran! Amazing place.

49 posted on 04/13/2009 1:47:42 AM PDT by jedi150
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To: killjoy
Just talked to our relations in Changwat Phrae. They say the Red Shirts have blocked to road to Lamphang and taken over city offices in both cities as well as Lamphun and Chiang Mai. Sound as though the Red Shirts will win. What sort of a wealth redistribution is coming??
50 posted on 04/13/2009 3:56:50 AM PDT by JimSEA
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