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Kasian Techaphira: Even with bloodshed, it’s far from over

Thammasat University’s political science academic says in his article in Prachatai that he disagrees with a common saying often heard during the past couple of years of political unrest that, ‘Without bloodshed, this is not going to end,’ or, ‘There must be a bloodshed, so this will end.’

In his opinion, that is not likely to be the case.  Even worse, confrontation in the form of mass demonstrations aimed at rattling the government would possibly just end, and the fight would turn into something much more horrible.

He cites what his colleague Chaiwat Satha-anan has said about the crux of political power in modern times, when power is functional with popular consent, and requires coercion against minorities in a particular time and space.

In emergencies and for brief periods of time, the use of arms to clear the roads of dozens or hundreds of people is feasible, but to hold guns and guard around the clock against dissenting tens or hundreds of thousands or millions of people blocking any road in Bangkok or elsewhere is not, unless those people give their consent to power.

Any loss resulting from the crackdown would undermine the legitimacy of the powers that be, with the anger spreading among those dissenting, and the government would inevitably have to rely on more and more coercive measures.


The more coercive the power and the longer it is used, the weaker the power will become.


And what if the dissidents abandon conventional forms of struggle, and turn to more violent, unrestrained means, or eventually go underground and become terrorists.

The scenario after the bloodshed might be one of doomsday.

Kasian argues that bloodshed must be avoided.  The authorities should negotiate with the protesters to stop blocking all rights of way in Bangkok, except the main protest site at Government House, and the authorities in turn would not disperse the crowd by force.  If the protest can go on peacefully for a certain period of time (say 3–5 days), the emergency decree will be lifted.

An independent committee should then be set up to investigate what happened in Pattaya and Bangkok to find the wrongdoers for prosecution.  And Parliament should be convened to seek solutions.

Kasian says tolerance from both sides is needed as what has been lost cannot be brought back.  



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