Sawatdee kha from Bangkok, Thailand.
As you are probably aware, we’re all pretty much trapped in Thailand right now. Both airports in Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Muang Airport have been taken over by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), who is now basically heading towards becoming a terrorist group. They have no concern as to whether they hurt innocent people, whether they inconvenience Thais and foreigners, or whether they destroy Thailand’s economy. Shutting down the two airports in Bangkok is costing Thailand millions of dollars a day in lost revenue, but the PAD doesn’t care.
At the moment, the PAD is still illegally occupying both airports. The Thai police, under orders from the Thai Prime Minister, are trying to negotiate with them rather than to storm in and start shooting. The PAD, however, has no intention of leaving and most Thais think it will end in bloodshed.
Of course, that’s not what Thailand wants, but few Thais have much patience with the PAD any more so, if that’s what it takes to get them out of the airports and stops them from damaging Thailand’s economy and hurting Thai people, then that’s what it takes.
Meanwhile, the Thai Prime Minister, Somchai Wongsawat, has now moved the government to Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. Chiang Mai is known for supporting this government, as they were also supporters of the ex-Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra. So, if the PAD attempts to cause too many problems up there, they’re likely to have to deal with most of the city of Chiang Mai (and that’s probably why their initial demonstrations up there on Thursday died away). But, one poor man was killed by the PAD in Chiang Mai this week, when he was dragged out of his car and shot in the head. Who knows why? And whatever happened, how can the PAD possible justify that action as necessary for the well-being of the country?
Meanwhile, the military in Thailand is being very quiet. They are known to not be supportive of the present government and, because Thailand is technically still a third world country, the military pretty much runs the country and not the government. Most Thais think if the government has too many problems evicting the PAD from the airports this weekend, the military will then step in and declare military rule – again!
I feel sad for Thailand as Thai people are so nice. Unfortunately, they have a history of corrupt military governments, corrupt civil governments, or simply ineffective governments. They now also face the danger of the PAD, who are trying to take democracy away from Thailand because “Thais don’t know how to vote for the ‘right people'” (the ‘right people’ being the people the PAD supports).
I do hope this situation will end soon. I feel sorry for the Westerners and other foreigners stuck in the country. I feel sorry for the average Thai, who is going to lose so much money in the next year as the PAD have systematically destroyed Thailand’s economy. And I feel sorry for the government, run by Somchai Wongsawat. He’s been Prime Minister for less than two months, yet the PAD won’t even give him a chance to see if he can create change in the country.
As it stands at the moment, it’s likely the police will attack the two airports in Bangkok today (Saturday). They are currently trying to ‘negotiate’ but we all know this will end in failure due to the stubbornness and bloody-mindedness of the People’s Alliance for Democracy. Hopefully, there will not be much bloodshed but it’s also likely there will be.
Stay tuned for updates, and pray for Thailand. It’s a wonderful country full of amazing people and it does not deserve this.