Saturday, May 15, 2010

Protest Update

Things have gotten ugly in the Ratchaprarop area of Bangkok.  Sixteen people have died and more than one hundred and fifty have been injured in clashes between protests and the army and police.  The police have declared the area  a live fire zone and have prohibited civilians and journalists from entering the area.

The red shirts have demanded that the army cease its crack down and return to the negotiating table.  The army seems determined cut off the food and supplies to the protesters in order to end the two month long protests.  The government's wants to end the protests this weekend, as Thai schools start back up on Monday, and some of them will be unable to due to the current situation.

In the past, I have had some sympathy for the red shirt cause.  However, I think they are definitely in the wrong here, and are responsible.  The Prime Minister actually alienated some of his supporters in reaching out to the red shirts by offering elections in November.  The red shirts said they supported the compromise.  Unfortunately, the red shirts really seem to not understand the idea of a compromise.  They seem only able to make demands.  Clearly the reason that the PM offered the new election was as part of an end to the protests that have hurt the city and the country.  The red shirts refused to end the protest.  Actually, they put a condition forth that they thought would be rejected, and when the deputy PM turned himself in to the police as demanded, they changed the demand yet again. 

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