Letter from Thailand: October 28, 2008 – PAD Physically Attacking Government Supporters

Bangkok just as safe as ever, despite violence from PAD supporters

 

Dear Reader,



Sawatdee kha from Bangkok, Thailand.

Well, it’s been a wet couple of weeks in Thailand. It rains every day at least once, and often two or three times. It’s making it miserable to leave the house as, when it rains, you can’t walk anywhere because it comes down in buckets. When it fines up, it’s back to being hot and even steamier than before. Either way, it’s not too pleasant. We are coming to the end of the rainy season though, so the Thai rains should be over by the beginning of next month.

On the political front in Thailand, things are continuing to worsen. Yesterday, the People’s Alliance for Democracy “security guards”, (these are just self-appointed guards who dress up with a hat and a golf club or bat and patrol the PAD areas), grabbed and punched a woman in the face. The reason? They said she was one of a group of pro-government supporters ready to attack. Now this ‘group’ was five people in a truck. How are five people going to attack a group of several thousand PAD members? Could somebody please tell me that?

The PAD (People’s Alliance for Democracy) is however now showing its true colors. They have gone from a pro-democracy group to a group that is advocating basically a dictatorship with no thought of democracy at all for Thailand. I’m amazed at how many middle-class Thais I’m meeting who used to support the PAD but now see them as nothing more than an illegal vigilante group that should be banned.

Also, tomorrow, (Thursday), there is expected to be a large pro-government rally where exiled ex-Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, is going to address the enormous crowd by telephone from London. This is causing concern in Bangkok and a near-riot could definitely be the result as PAD pits itself against the pro-government supporters.

Also, tomorrow, (Thursday), there is expected to be a large pro-government rally where exiled ex-Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, will address the enormous crowd by telephone from London. This is causing concern in Bangkok and a near-riot could definitely be the result as PAD pits itself against the pro-government supporters.

In good news, the economic news from Thailand is looking better than it is in the west. A report on Thai banks has shown that all of them are solvent and all made loans much lower than the amount of money they have on reserve, so no bank bailouts needed in Thailand. (Do you wonder why I’m moving all my money to Thailand? It’s much more secure here, that’s for sure).

The Thai stock market has also rebounded somewhat in the last 48 hours and, as of this writing, continues to do so. Now is definitely the time to start buying into the Thai market if you’re planning on doing so.

Tourists coming to Thailand, however, have fallen in number and that’s a shame. There seems to be an idea that Thailand is becoming more dangerous and that couldn’t actually be further from the truth. Even if the political situation does blow up, unless you are involved in it and right in the thick of things, like in the past, you’re not likely to see anything.

Hopefully things will continue to improve for Thailand economically though and also that eventually the political situation will ease. Tourists will then begin to trickle back to Thailand and the Kingdom will be happy again.

Until then, have a great week!

Sawatdee kha from Thailand

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