Opinion

22 May 2010
According to Mr. Sarayuth Ampan who was shot by firearm into his arm while hiding himself in the rear part of the white medic van with clear signs, some demonstrators who had started to gather around Bon Kai area on Rama IV Road were running away into Soi Ngam Du Plee, off Rama IV Road. The army officials were chasing after them. As the demonstrators had gone into other smaller lanes, the army officials approached the Pinnacle Hotel’s parking lot where the medic van was parked with its head facing the road.
21 May 2010
The following is an eyewitness account of the demonstrations in downtown Bangkok over the past several days. In the wake of lost lives and massive damage done to infrastructure and buildings in the area, the government has claimed success in “taking back the area” from the Red Shirts demonstrators. Much attention has been diverted to the property damage, often overshadowing the human cost of the clearing operation.
18 May 2010
Uncle Noi is a mobile fruit vendor. He peddles his fruits on a pick-up truck which has a small loud speaker attached to it. Dogs would bark at his arrival as unmistakable sign of his presence.
17 May 2010
An open letter to the Thai Government and UDD On May 14,2010,  just one day after Thailand was elected with land slide majority of 182 votes out of 192 members of the United Nations to sit in the UN Human Rights Council (of which the total number of members is 47) the Thai Government seriously breached its own commitments and pledges made during the campaign for the seat. In the campaign, the PM.Abhisit Vejjajiva has committed that “…I can  reaffirm that this Government will address problems relating to freedom and liberty and human rights on the basis of accepting them as reality. This is the first crucial step so that every agency, including civil society, recognizes the need to cooperate in seriously solving the problems…if the Government or state officials do not learn how to respect human rights themselves, problems will never end. What I would like to see from now on is right understanding and right perspective, and to push ahead in the promotion and protection of human rights…”. The Prime Minister further confirmed that “I am confident that even if obstacles still remain in the economic, social, political or legal aspects, but if people are ready to reach out to one another as fellow human beings, that will be the beginning of our success in ensuring the effective enjoyment and safeguard of human and freedom and liberty”.
17 May 2010
Samaphan Srithep or Cher, 17, was fatally shot at Soi Rang Nam on 15 May.  His elder sister wrote about him on her Facebook. I often thought of him as a “badly brought up” kid. He was annoying, impertinent, had a gift of bad timing. He was also provocative, and a bit unhinged.  I had even thought that if he carried on this way, he would probably “die before he has lived.” 
17 May 2010
Late one night at the end of last month – an April night in which the scent of blood from the impending crackdown threatened to fill the air – a woman in her seventies made her way awkwardly through the crowd of demonstrators. She sat down among them before pulling out a bag containing a slingshot and glass marbles, which she had kept hidden underneath her top, to the delight of her aged friends sitting nearby.
17 May 2010
The deteriorating Thai political situation has made the “land of smiles” the object of constant curiosity among friends and colleagues in Britain. Thailand also has begun to trend online and it is now the international press’s favorite country to talk about. It is right up there with the likes of the New York bomb plot and the fiscal crisis in Greece. One has to only pick up a copy of The Economist to realize that they now run articles on the crisis in Thailand on a weekly basis.  
16 May 2010
Right now, the heart of Bangkok has become a war zone.  The noise of gunfire is deafening, soldiers are lining up and shooting to disperse protestors. The protesters flee in all directions, then respond by lighting homemade rockets, firecrackers, and aim their slingshots at the soldiers. Today (14 May) the clashes between soldiers and the red shirts took place in many areas. The first of these was around Lumphini Park, Saladaeng intersection, and Wireless Road underneath the Thai-Belgium overpass. Then the clashes spread to Bon Kai intersection, the area in front of the Lumphini police station, Ratchaprarop and Pratunam.  News came almost immediately of the rapidly increasing number of casualties.  Nobody can say when the war in central Bangkok will end.
30 Apr 2010
Somsak Jeamtheerasakul’s analysis and observations of the current situation.  Translated and shortened by Prachatai English. The government’s use of force to crack down on the red shirts at Rajprasong now seems practically inevitable, as does the collision course taken by Thaksin and the red-shirt leaders, including the possible use of the black-clad men who are the latter’s secret weapons.
27 Apr 2010
Since 2006, Thai politics has witnessed mounting popular mobilisation and a deepening political crisis. As so-called ‘yellow shirts’ and ‘red shirts’ have taken their protests to the international airport, the national government, and the city streets of Bangkok, Thailand has also seen the articulation of ultra-royalist versus (alleged) anti-royalist sentiments.
23 Apr 2010
Matichon Weekly has in its latest edition, 23 April 2010, an article entitled ‘Suppose PM Abhisit Vejjajiva today faced an Opposition Leader named Abhisit Vejjajiva’.  Since Abhisit became Prime Minister and has had to deal with the red shirts, what has most undermined his credibility are his own words and principles when he was Opposition Leader, the article says.
14 Apr 2010
(A shortened version by Prachatai English) After the Saturday clashes, the red shirts are confident that they have gained the upper hand over the government; so they do not bother to negotiate or give a thought for the common good.  They have only one goal: seizing the country, changing the form of government and overthrowing the monarchy.

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