All heck breaks loose in Thailand – military coup in the horizon?

April 12, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Yellow shirts had their way a few months ago shutting down the main airport in the capital of Thailand – Bangkok.  Now the red shirts, protesters loyal to Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister, have practically shutdown the country and forcing the current prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva (photo left), to declare a state of emergency in the capital Bangkok, with troops firing shots into the air in an attempt to control anti-government protesters, some of whom stormed the country’s interior ministry. This comes a day after the red shirts stormed the venue of a summit of Asian leaders in a Thai resort, forcing the event to be canceled and seriously undermining confidence in the government.

Things got so bad Abhisit’s own car was surrounded by protesters, who beat it with sticks and clubs, but the prime minister was able to escape. Thaksin’s supporters say Abhisit only became premier because of a parliamentary rigged by the army. They want new elections and likely could win back power. The Oxford educated Abhisit, who heads the former opposition Democrat Party, defeated a loyalist of exiled but still powerful ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a parliamentary vote four months ago. The vote came in the wake of mass protests by anti-Thaksin forces (yellow shirts) that included a week long siege of Bangkok’s airports. These events will further cripple the Thai economy which is already on the brink of recession, as tourists are put off by the scenes of chaos and army troops everywhere. It’s not a stretch to believe that this fragile democracy may crumble with an army intervention, as 18 military coups have occurred since the 1930s.


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