Sonntag, 1. Dezember 2013

Bangkok Protest - Update Sunday morning

Police barricade at Phitsanulok Road

Firstly: Please forgive me, when my grammar and my spelling will get worse the coming days. As you know I am from Germany and therefor English (obviously) is not my mother tongue. The situation in Bangkok is deteriorating faster and faster and I won't have the time to check for misspellings.


Friday was a relatively calm day. A high ranking abbot joined the anti-government protest. The abbot Luang Pu Buddha Isara said he would take over as the anti-government protest leader if Suthep Thaugsuban is arrested. The core leaders of the protest movement decided not to clear the protest sites for the birthday celebrations of his Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej. Protest Leader Suthep declared on stage that Sunday, December 1st, will be the victory day for HIS revolution.

But there was trouble inside the Democrat Party. One faction, lead party MP Korn Chatikavanij disagrees with Sutheps methods and his ideas of a people's government. But obviously Suthep Thaugsuban is not used to criticism. Therefor he attacked and threatened Korn in a speech on Thursday night:
"He [Mr Korn] has the full right to disagree with our move and we also have the full right to make our decision," he told the crowd. "The protesters don't owe Mr Korn anything and Mr Korn has never done us any favors. Mr Korn is not among the protest leaders so we make our own decisions. "I feel lucky that I did not choose Mr Korn to be a co-leader," he said. Mr Suthep said he was unhappy with Mr Korn and warned him not to criticise the CMD again otherwise he would "experience trouble in his life".
But nevertheless the leadership of the Democrat Party decided to fully support and to join Suthep's protest movement officially and Korn led a group of protesters to the US Embassy.

On Thursday and Friday first clashes between anti-government protesters and pro-government supporters were reported. E.g. in Pathum Thani three anti-government protesters were injured after clashes with government supporters. 
So called “Ping-Pong-bombs” had been hurled into the police forces stationed behind the barricades at Phitsanulok Road. Luckily no one was injured:
Police said the bombs were hurled into the police behind the barricades at about 7.00 p.m. last night, shattering the windshield of a police van. However no police was injured.
Police said they checked the surveillance cameras near the scene of the bridge and discovered that four youths were near the bridge and then they hurled the bombs and then ran into the crowd of anti-government protesters rallying near the bridge.
Earlier on Tuesday, a ping pong bomb was also thrown near the same place but nobody was scathed.

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Soldiers are "decorating" the barbwire in front the Ministry of Defense.
The stage at Democracy Monument at 11.00 am.

Several protest marches took place on Friday, too. One destination was the Pheu Thai Party headquarters at Petchaburi Road. Against all expectations this was a very peaceful protest. The overall mood was very relaxed and around 14.00 pm the protesters left the area.

Police forces and protesters were relaxed and the mood was peaceful at the Pheu Thai headquraters.

In front of the Pheu Thai headquarters.

Another group of protesters (ca. 1.500 people) entered (and not stormed as reported by some media) the compound of the Military Headquarters at Ratchadamnoen Nok. They left peacefully around late afternoon after Commander-In-Chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha told them it would be a good idea to leave IMMEDIATELY. They should not dare to force him to take sides:
"Don't try to make the army take sides because the army considers that all of us are fellow Thais, so the government, state authorities and people from every sector must jointly seek a peaceful solution as soon as possible," Prayuth said in a statement.


The day started with the daily protest marches. One target was CAT Telecom (Communications Authority of Thailand) headquarters near the Government Complex on Chaeng Watthana Road. After they disrupted the power supply and the emergency generators didn't work properly, the internet partly slowed down or didn't work at all.

But in the evening the situation in Bangkok got tense. Anti-government protesters attacked a taxi and a bus carrying Redshirts to the Rajamangala Stadium. Clashes between paid hooligans (and most likely NOT students as falsely reported) and Redshirts happened only a short while later. Probably to instigate chaos (as reported by several reliable sources). Between 50 and 60 people got hurt.
Later yesterday evening, around 8.00 PM, suddenly (as several sources reported) gunshots and explosions were heard. Somebody fired several times and wounded a number of people, 3 - 5 persons got killed (the reports on the number of fatalities are contradictory).
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Another group threw sandbags on the barbwire in front of the police barricades at Phitsanulok Road preparing the barricade for the attack on Sunday morning.

Sandbags in front of the police barricade at Phitsanulok Road.

Redshirt leader Jatuporn Prompan declared in front of 70.000 – 80.000 Redshirts at Rajamangala Stadium yesterday evening, when the anti-government groups should seize the Government House or threaten Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Sunday, the Redshirts will leave the stadium and take counter actions, whatever that means.

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