March 30, 2010 Tuesday Lee Yu Kyung in Bangkok
“Mai Mee Pracha Tipatai!” (There’s no people’s democracy)
Ms. Manut Srivirai from Nakorn Panon province, did burst into tear as she was talking about Thai media. She’s been camping out in Bangkok for 20 days to demand the government to dissolve the house, calling for a new election. “This country has been towards Burma, which has been controlled by military. I will sleep here today, tomorrow and more and more if needed” said the 74 years old out-spoken woman.
A day after the second round of talks between the government and leaders of UDD has been failed on March 29, the headline of the daily Thai Post reads on Tuesday : “Janrai Taksin lom Jeraja”, which literally means “Bastards Taksin ruins negotiation”. The article under this headline, however, has no source or words as to what kind of role Taksin has had to fail the talks. As expected, the establishment of Thai society, notably those mainstream media seems to shift a responsibility onto Reds side for failure of talks, by demonizing the controversial figure Taksin Sinawatra at most. To make it worse, the royalist Yellow shirts PAD has issued a statement on Monday, while the second round of talks were taking place, for the first time since the huge mass of Reds have been waging ever biggest rally in Thai history. According to the statement, PAD opposes a ‘political’ talk with Reds let alone dissolution of the house. It also opposed the amendment of the military sponsored-constitution as well, of which Prime minister apparently shows flexibility, talking about ‘amendment of constitution first’ before a new election.
“They can’t reach an agreement, as long as the government doesn’t accept the UDD’s firm demand” Ms. Pinpaka Ngamsom, a senior journalist from the independent website Prachatai said.
“It is rather funny that…” she continued, “Prime minister, during the second round of talks yesterday, has said that he’s got text messages from those who opposed dissolution of the house, trying to obtain an excuse for rejecting what Reds demanded”. It’s not difficult to assume the text might have been from PAD side or its supporters. “I think the prime minister Abhisit is trying to make an impression that he is not a part of problem just but in the middle of the two feuding forces” observed the senior journalist.
Meanwhile UDD has decided not to have further talks, blaming the Prime Minister and its government are not ‘sincere’, while the government suggested another round of talks.
“Mr. Abhisit once opposed the amendment of constitution in the past but now talking of it as we are demanding immediate dissolution of the house. He is a dishonest man. He’s just trying to buy time” said Dr.Weng, one of the delegates of UDD for the talks with the government. He said Red shirts doesn’t care about what PAD stated as PAD is a violent movement, recalling occupation of the two airports and carrying ‘arms’.
Thai politics ‘deadlocked’
While there’s even more gloomy air emerging in troubed Thai politics, the long ranged of roads which used to be packed with tens of thousands – if not hundreds of thousands – Reds shirts protesters, appears to have much of vacancy in the mid day of March 30.. Although the international spokesperson of UDD Mr.Sean Boonpracong has emphasized the movement is going to ‘step up’ its protest as talks failed, it would be certainly a challenge for Red shirts to keep constant number of protesters as many of them are from provinces. Yet, it also has shown that the movement has numerous Bangkokian supporters, who were cheerfully greeting the endless Reds caravan march on March 20 in surprise.
“At current stage, I would say…it is sort of civil strife, which can be seen in many country. But I’m afraid this is heading to be a real conflict as this stubborn government doesn’t take peope’s demand into serious, which is no other than a dissolution of the house” said Dr. Weng.
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