Donnerstag, 28. November 2013

Bangkok Protest - Update Thursday 28 November 2013

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Related links:
protest in Bangkok - a summary

The only interesting and really noteworthy development of the last two days is the aftermath on the attack on the German photographer Nick Nostitz. The international outcry on this vicious assault was enormous, organisatons as SEAPA, HRW (, Reporters without borders, the FCCT and others condemned the attack in strong terms. Meanwhile,  the CIVIL MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRACY (CMD) voiced its regrets about that incident (as they call it). Please read the document of the CMD below. 

The FCCT Statement: "The FCCT deplores this in the strongest possible terms, and calls upon protest leaders to unequivocally and publicly state that the rights of journalists, foreign or Thai, should be respected," it said in the statement.

FCCT president spoke to Nick Nostitz, the journalist assaulted today. He says his face hurts and he is VERY pissed off. Democrat MP Chumpon pointed him out from the protest stage calling him a "red shirt journalist" and urged the crowd to kick him out. He said it was a matter of seconds before the first fists hit him. He is filing charges and this rules out him covering the yellow protests from now on. He was then denounced on Thai TV by a member of the Thai press corps.
Since this incident Nick Nostitz became a victim of insults, verbal assaults, fabricated accusations (such as he is on the payroll of Thaksin Shinawatra and other nonsense alike). 

Referring to the statement below, this is the first time since we moved to Thailand that someone apologises for/regrets something. But of course not without accusing the victim of being partial and being a henchman of the government (which are complete unfounded accusations). 


What else happened since Monday?
The Yingluck-government is still in power and not toppled or driven out of the country as promised by the protest leaders. Therefor they announced that they would prolong their "besieging protest" and anti-government rallies until Sunday. The protesters occupied or besieged 10 more ministries and state agencies. On the other hand they had withdrawn from some ministries, e.g. the Foreign Ministry, they had occupied on Tuesday.  Also on Tuesday the Criminal Court approved an arrest warrant for Mr Suthep for illegal assembly and invading government offices (

Only a few hundred protesters stayed over night on the Foreign Ministry compound. A few hours later the left the area.

The damaged gate at the Foreign Ministry. Peaceful protest looks different.
He was not really impressed and went on to plan and organise the next rallies and occupations of government buildings. He knows for sure that certainly no one would dare to arrest him at the moment because this surely would trigger a wave of violence. 

His supporters compare Suthep Thaugsuban with Mahatma Gandhi. We heard this comparison before. Already during the PAD rallies protesters compared the then-PAD-leader Charmrong Srimuang with Mahatma Gandhi. It seems there are a lot of Gandhis in Thailand!
Suthep Thaugsuban

Also on Tuesday civil servants and employees of public offices showed their support for the government in front of the parliament building.
From left to right: Pheu Thai MP's Wiphuthalang Phattanaphumtha, ?, Suphon Attawong, aka Isan Rambo

Government supporters in front of the parliament building.

On Wednesday (according to Bangkok Post) ...Protesters besieged at least 31 provincial halls nationwide yesterday, including 14 in the southern region. They took over three in the North, five in the Central Plains, two in the West, two in the East, and five in the Northeast...
But it seems at the moment the government is not really impressed. Although the ISA was extended to all districts of Bangkok and the neighbouring provinces, the anti-government protesters refuse to end their rallies. 
And why should they? There are no signs that the government will enforce the ISA through police or military intervention. The Yingluck administration still pins its hope on peaceful negotiations. But protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban rejects all talks with the government categorically.

Apart from those events mentioned before we learned nothing new since Tuesday. Just the same old accusations, insults and ignorance we heard and observed for years: Thaksin is the root of all evil, Thaksin wants to destroy the monarchy, before Thaksin everything in Thailand was fine (yep, that's why  Thailand experienced 18 coup's or coup attempts since 1930's, brutal military regimes and several violent crackdowns - sorry, link in German language only:
"And of course Thailand´s people were happy and united before Thaksin came to power."

The way people think of their fellow country men (for centuries) and how deeply devided Thailand's society really is shows the following quote:
... "We are rich and our children are educated in Bangkok," said Nonthapan Suwananon, an anti-government protester who manages an office. "They (the Redshirts) are poor, uneducated and have been bought out by Thaksin and his lot.".

And today, Thursday 28 November, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra comfortably survived the no-confidence vote with 297 coalition MPs voting in her support. A total of 134 opposition MPs voted against her while five MPs abstained.

Obviously that attack on the photo journalist on monday, the attempts of intimidation of several Thai television chanels and the occupations of the state agencies scared people away. On Sunday between 100,000 and 150,000 supporters joined the protest, on Tuesday the number of protesters had already dwindeled away. Only some tens of thousands still joined the protest sites or protest marches. It seems that most people don't agree with Suthep's aggressive methods. The coming days will be crucial for Suthep and his "REVOLUTION". He is running out of options to step up the pressure on the government by "peaceful" means. Occupying the Parliament Building and the Government House or an airport are possibly his last opportunities to get the Yingluck-government into trouble.

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