Thais always seem to take things seriously when it comes to social media. At Toptens.com's the Worst World Leaders poll, Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, recently deposed Adolf Hitler to number three on the list, with Thaksin ranked at number one and Yingluck at two.
After news of negotiations and signals from the premier on Monday had led to anticipation of a solution to Thailand’s crisis, it turned out that the anti-government rallies continued, with the police as the new target.
It seems they have belatedly recognized that their message wasn’t getting across to a foreign audience. Talk of overthrowing a democratically elected government in order to create a democratic form of government wasn’t exactly the clearest of messages. So the newly mis-named Civil Movement for Democracy has decided to use one of its great strengths – the superior education of its supporters.
It is not the first time Thailand has seen anti-Thaksin demonstrations at least twice before: once in 2006 and again in 2008 Still, it is an open secret that Thaksin administers the country from overseas. The leader protest himself admitted on the stage that the Thaksin regime would return despite a fresh election. The question for the demonstrators is obvious: What do they hope for from their rally? How can they literally eliminate the Thaksin regime? Is coup d'etat an option? Prachatai talked with four people who have joined the whistle-blowing demonstrations to explore their thoughts and desires.
I was more than 800 kilometers away from Kok Wua and Ratchaprasong during April-May 2010. None of my relatives, not even one, were among those who protested in accordance with the law. But I was anguished by the armed siege on the protests, the seize that caused nearly 100 people to lose their lives and more than 2,000 to be injured. And I was anguished by the unjust use (abuse) of the law against another 1,000 people after the protests.
Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra left Dawei this early morning to Hong Kong by his private jet, an airport authority told Dawei Watch.
The past is always subject to editing, omission, co-optation and selective memorisation. This was manifested recently when the red shirts flocked to listen to their leaders' speeches at Muang Thong Thani's Thunder Dome. Before people like Jatuporn Promphan and Nattawut Saigua took the stage, a video showing how resistance to the September 19, 2006, military coup took shape was screened.
Over the last couple of weeks there has been a deluge of opeds in the English language Thai media and blogosphere on Thaksin Shinawatra. The Bangkok Post, the Nation and even Asian Correspondent’s very own Bangkok Pundit have repeatedly poured over every varied aspect of Thaksin's possible return in what only could be described, in a nod to film theory, as the “New Wave of Thaksin Fever”.
A co-producer of the banned Thai film "Shakespeare Must Die", which has been construed as a criticism of Thaksin Shinawatra and the red shirts, said he will launch a petition campaign to overturn the Film Board's April 3 decision to outlaw screenings of the work.
Red shirts and democracy advocates should question Thaksin Shinawatra, the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship and the Pheu Thai Party whether their priority is to bring Thaksin home or to help those red shirts who are in jail, said Somsak Jeamteerasakul, a Thammasat lecturer and political commentator, on his Facebook page.