A-Maze-in Thailand…

Bewildering Thailand – could be the new slogan . TVs across the land are plugged into it. Dinner party conversations inevitably come to it: For months now the PAD vs government debacle has no resolution. The interesting thing is how a small minority like the PAD, who to be honest aren’t really offering anything near an Obama-like-change (and if you dug into their motivations probably aren’t that different from the people they are trying to oust), have managed to throw spanners into the whole political scene for months. My resident photog friends who cover these things describe rallies where long maned peaceniks share the platform with crewcut would be rambos. Ragtag is the short description. Yet a few thousand people can occupy buildings, grind Bangkok traffic down to more of a halt than before (bet you didn’t think that was possible) on a regular basis. Strangely they might achieve their goal not by popular people’s power but just by highlighting the government’s incapacity to deal with them. But all in all it ain’t good, and is ripping society apart. No one really wants to talk together realistically about what to do, and the King has so far publicly stayed out of it. The only effect that royalty currently has on the public scene is to put an unspoken moratorium on any political disturbance during events like the late Princess Galyani’s cremation. More than a week after the event literally millions of Thais have flocked to the site just to see where she was cremated, queueing up literally for hours to get a chance to tour the actual tower (which unlike the Balinese they don’t burn down). One minute they are manning the barricades, the next minute they are queueing up together after the fact to see a temporary royal site. Go figure… rio-h-nov08086lo.jpgrio-h-nov08089lo.jpgrio-h-nov08093lo.jpg So now the tension has been ratcheted up, with the police and military under standing order not to use any form of violence whatsoever (we will see how long that lasts), the courts are mulling whether to declare the ruling PPP party illegal, the PPP trying to push through favourable (for them) legislation in parliament, Thaksin swearing he will be back in Thailand in December, the PAD swearing they will bring the government down this week, business people just swearing, and no one seems to be able to compromise. Meanwhile a cowardly campaign of sporadically chucking hand grenades at the PAD encampment at night continues. It’s not that long before the King’s birthday (the 5th of December) which will bring another hiatus. Both sides might feel they will lose steam if they don’t come to shove before then – so, well who knows if one of them will go even further?

Leave a Reply

LEAVE A REPLY

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *