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Clashes between protesters and police leave four dead, as anti-fraud officials announce charges against PM Yingluck.
Last updated: 18 Feb 2014 11:08
|Clashes between police and opposition protesters left four dead and dozens wounded in central Bangkok, as anti-fraud officials announced that the country’s embattled prime minister will be charged with neglect of duty.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission said on Tuesday that if found guilty of the charges – which relate to a controversial rice subsidy scheme – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra could be removed from office.
The announcement came hours after gunfire and explosions shook an area of the city’s historic district just a short walk away from major tourist attractions, as riot police moved to clear sites of protest rallies.
Tear gas was also fired near Government House in the centre of Bangkok, a Reuters news agency witness reported, as thousands of police officers, including anti-riot squads, were deployed across the city in an operation the government called “Peace for Bangkok”.
“One policeman has died and 14 police were injured,” national police chief Adul Saengsingkaew told Reuters. “The policeman died while being sent to hospital. He was shot in the head.”
Al Jazeera’s Veronica Pedrosa, reporting from Bangkok, said that when police attempted to clear the area with bulldozers and ranks of police, they were met with resistance.
Pedrosa reported that there was a large explosion which was reportedly a M79 grenade as well as several smaller explosions. “At that point, police fired back apparently using with rubber-coated steel bullets and handguns,” she said. “We saw demonstrators throwing rubble, rocks, bottles, anything that they could lay their hands on at the police riot shields,” she added.
The Associated Press reported that Erawan emergency medical services said at least 42 people were injured. It was not immediately known if they were protesters or police.
The protesters had reinforced the numbers around Government House to keep Yingluck from returning to work there. The caretaker leader has dissolved the parliament and had been forced to work at the temporary office in Bangkok’s suburbs after protesters surrounded her office in central Bangkok demanding her resignation.
Since the protesters started blocking government offices late last year and major intersections a month ago, police have avoided dispersing demonstrators for fear of unleashing violence.
But on Monday, the government’s special security command centre announced it would reclaim five protest sites around the city for public use, a move made possible under a state of emergency declared in January.
Protest leader Rawee Matchamadon said that police rounded up about 100 demonstrators outside the Energy Ministry, north of the city, and took them away in police trucks for questioning at a police base in Bangkok’s northern outskirts on Tuesday. Live video on Tnews cable television showed no resistance from the protesters during the operation early on Tuesday morning.
The recent police operations conducted raises fears of further chances of violent outbursts. In previous weeks of protests, at least 10 people have been killed and scores injured.
At another operation site near the Golden Mount, a temple on a hill, anti-riot police moved in to round up more anti-government protesters and used bulldozers to clear out a makeshift stage. Gunshots were heard during the operation and a police officer was seen injured on a live television report on FMTV cable channel.
Near Government House, police officers were asking protesters to leave.
“It is necessary for the police to return peace to the society and unblock the road in order to let the students go to school,” a policeman said through a loudspeaker. “We beg you not to do against the law or defy our operation.”
Caretaker Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt told Associated Press the protesters hijacked two of the city’s public buses and used them to block a rally site at the Interior Ministry near the Grand Palace.
Thailand has been wracked by political unrest since 2006, when Yingluck’s brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was ousted by a military coup after being accused of corruption and abuse of power. Since then, his supporters and opponents have vied for power.
Protesters want the prime minister to step down [AFP]
|A Thai anti-government protest leader has been shot in the head while delivering a speech in Bangkok, as demonstrators blocked advance voting for a controversial general election.
Piya Utayo, a spokesman for Thailand’s national police, on Sunday identified the dead man as Suthin Tharathin. “At least five other people were injured,” he said.
“Suthin Tharathin was shot in the head while giving a speech from the back of a truck,” protest spokesman Akanat Promphan told AFP.
“The government has failed to provide any safety and security for anybody today despite the emergency decree,” he said, referring to a government order empowering police to control protests.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has called elections for February 2 in an attempt to defuse protests that have dragged on since November and which have flared occasionally into violence.
Polling stations attacked
Thai anti-government protesters besieged polling stations in Bangkok Sunday and forced most to close, hampering advance voting for next weekend’s election and deepening doubts about whether it can go ahead.
More than two million people are registered for advance voting before the February 2 election, which was called by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to try to defuse rising political tensions after weeks of mass anti-government protests.
Protesters descended on scores of polling stations in the Thai capital and several southern provinces, stopping ballot officials from entering and prompting election authorities to shut at least 45 venues.
Their action denied the franchise to thousands of registered voters and flouted a government-imposed state of emergency invoked to ease fears of violence in the run-in to next Sunday’s poll.
Protesters have occupied several government buildings in the capital, Bangkok [Reuters]
|The Thai government has declared a state of emergency in the capital Bangkok and surrounding areas to cope with protests aimed at forcing the prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, from power.Chalerm Yubumrung, Thailand’s labour minister, announced on Tuesday that the restrictions would come into force after midnight and last 60 days.
“We need it because the protesters have closed government buildings, banks and escalated the situation, which has caused injuries and deaths. The government sees the need to announce the emergency decree to keep the situation under control,” Yubumrung said.
The decree will allow security agencies to impose curfews, detain suspects without charge, censor media, ban political gatherings of more than five people and declare areas off-limits.
Yingluck said police, not the military, would mainly be used and her government had no intention of confronting the protesters.
“We will use peaceful negotiations with the protesters in line with international standards … We have told the police to stick with international standards, to be patient with the protesters,” she said on Tuesday.
The state of emergency follows increasing attacks at protest sites for which the government and the protesters blame each other. These include grenade attacks and drive-by shootings.
On Sunday, 28 people were wounded when two grenades were thrown at one of several protest sites set up in Bangkok.
Another grenade attack on a protest march last Friday killed one man and wounded dozens. No arrests have been made in either attack.
The protesters have been demanding Yingluck’s resignation to make way for an appointed government to implement reforms to fight corruption.
The protesters say that Yingluck’s government is carrying on the practices of Thaksin Shinawatra, her billionaire brother who was prime minister from 2001 to 2006, by using the family fortune and state funds to influence voters and cement its power.
Yingluck called elections for February 2, but the protesters want them postponed. The opposition Democrat Party, closely aligned with the protesters, is boycotting the polls.
The announcement of the emergency decree said the elections would proceed as planned.
|Thai opposition protesters have stepped up their rallies, gathering in thousands in seven major intersections in the capital, in their attempt to “shutdown” of Bangkok to ultimately unseat Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
The demonstrators want the embattled prime minister to step down to make way for an appointed government that would oversee electoral reforms to curb the political dominance of her billionaire family and tackle a wider culture of money politics.
Thousands of flag-waving protesters, some wearing T-shirts with the slogan “Bangkok Shutdown”, massed at strategic points in the city on Monday, including outside a major shopping mall that was set on fire during deadly political unrest in 2010.
“We will fight regardless of whether we win or lose. We will not compromise or accept negotiation,” protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban told crowds at a rally late on Sunday.
The firebrand opposition politician – who faces a murder charge in connection with a deadly military crackdown on political protests when he was deputy prime minister in 2010 – was set to lead a march through the city centre later on Monday.
But it was still unclear how much support he would enjoy among city residents, some of whom voiced fears that the action would hurt their livelihoods.
“Of course it affects me – I’m very stressed,” said hair salon owner Tong, 69. “No customers are coming now as my regular customers cannot drive here.”
Also on Monday, Shinawatra invited leaders of anti-government protesters and political parties to discuss an Election Commission proposal to push back the date of the snap election she called from February 2, a senior aide said.
Ministers have until now said a delay would be impossible under the constitution, but the Election Commission has said it could be pushed back and one member has suggested May 4.
Authorities say they are ready to declare a state of emergency if there is fresh unrest, and roughly 20,000 police and soldiers will be deployed for security.
But they have not tried to stop the demonstrators taking over parts of the city in the run-up to the February 2 elections, which they have set out to disrupt.
The protesters have vowed to stop officials going to work and cut off power to key state offices as part of the shutdown efforts, which authorities have warned could lead to further bloodshed.
“My generation is fed up with corruption in the country,” Marisa Buerkle, an anti-government protester, told Al Jazeera. “We don’t care who will lead it in the future. Just as long as they are not corrupt.”
Eight people, including a policeman, have been killed and dozens injured in street violence since the protests began over two months ago.
The civil strife is the worst since 2010, when more than 90 people were killed in street clashes between pro-Thaksin protesters and the military.
“It’s going to be very volatile,” said Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a former Thai diplomat and associate professor at the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies at Japan’s Kyoto University.
He said there was a risk of “political violence”, with protesters under pressure to achieve their objective of removing the government before the election, which would probably return Yingluck and her party to power.
“In a way there is no turning back for the protesters, they have come too far,” he added.
The current political crisis is the latest chapter in a saga of political instability and periodic unrest that has gripped Thailand since Yingluck’s older brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was ousted by royalist generals seven years ago.
The billionaire tycoon-turned-politician, who lives abroad to avoid a jail term for corruption, has large electoral support particularly in northern Thailand, where he is adored for a swathe of popular policies.
But he is reviled among the country’s elites and by many in the Bangkok middle class and Thai south, who see him as authoritarian and accuse him of buying votes.
The protesters want an appointed “people’s council” to run the country and oversee vaguely defined electoral reforms, such as an end to alleged vote buying, before new elections are held in about a year to 18 months.
The impasse has revived fears of a judicial or military ousting of the government, in a country which has seen 18 actual or attempted coups since 1932.
Increased security presence meant to prevent violence in planned “shutdown” of Thai capital by demonstrators.
Thailand has experienced periodic violence since the overthrow of Yingluck’s brother seven years ago [AFP]
|Troops will be deployed in the Thai capital next week for the planned “shutdown” of Bangkok by demonstrators trying to overthrow the government.
The government is mobilising 14,880 police and soldiers for the mass rally, officials said on Wednsday.
“Our goal is to prevent any violence or clashes,” national police spokesman Piya Uthayo said in a televised briefing.
Officials say the government is ready to declare a state of emergency if needed to deal with any unrest, following several outbreaks of street violence in which eight people, including a policeman, have been killed and hundreds wounded.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has called February elections following weeks of opposition street protests.
Yingluck’s government still enjoys strong support and is expected to win the election if it goes ahead, but demonstrators have vowed to block the vote,and say they will occupy the capital from January 13 until they topple the government.
Worst strife since 2010
Critics say the protesters want to provoke fresh clashes in the hope of triggering a military coup on the pretext of restoring order- an accusation the demonstrators deny.
The demonstrators- primarily southerners,urban elite,middle-class and royalists- want an unelected “people’s council” to run the country.
Thailand has been periodically shaken by political bloodshed since Yingluck’s older brother Thaksin Shinawatra was toppled by royalist generals in a coup seven years ago.
The recent civil strife is the worst since 2010, when more than 90 people were killed in a bloody military crackdown on pro-Thaksin Red Shirt protests under the previous government.
Ex-deputy premier Suthep Thaugsuban was due in court Wednesday to face a murder indictment over those deaths, but he asked for another postponement because he is leading the current protests.
“There’s no near-term resolution in sight,” warns TCW Group’s David Loevinger, as “Thailand has entered an extended period of political instability.” This uncertainty has led to foreigners abandoning the nation’s stock market in record size – and collapsing the Thai Baht at the same time. Why should US investors be worried? Thailand was the catalyst that started the 1997 Asian crisis, broke LTCM, and instigated the most epic experiments in central bank liquidity provision on record. With the Fed Tapering, both Indonesia and Thailand (and Turkey) are already seeing major currency collapses but of course, as long as US equities rise, no one cares (which is exactly what they said last time)…
Bloomberg’s Chart of the Day shows that the baht has plunged 5.1 percent since the end of October to a three-year low as international investors pulled a net $2.75 billion out of equities, the worst outflow in at least 14 years.
Investors are dumping Thai assets as two-month-old protests against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra intensify, threatening to deepen a slowdown in the second-largest southeast Asian economy. Opposition parties are trying to topple Yingluck after she pushed for a bill that would provide amnesty for her brother, Thaksin, who was ousted as premier in a 2006 coup and has lived in self-imposed exile overseas.
Yingluck dissolved parliament on Dec. 9, a move that triggered new elections set for February, in a bid to ease tensions. The country’s election commission warned yesterday that the vote could wind up stoking more violence after protesters tried to storm a Bangkok arena where candidates were registering.
And as a reminder… what happened in the 1997 crisis…
The Asian financial crisis was a period of financial crisis that gripped much of Asia beginning in July 1997, and raised fears of a worldwide economic meltdown due to financial contagion.
The crisis started in Thailand with the financial collapse of the Thai baht after the Thai government was forced to float the baht due to lack of foreign currency to support its fixed exchange rate, cutting its peg to the US$, after exhaustive efforts to support it in the face of a severe financial overextension that was in part real estate driven. At the time, Thailand had acquired a burden of foreign debt that made the country effectively bankrupt even before the collapse of its currency. As the crisis spread, most of Southeast Asia and Japan saw slumping currencies, devalued stock markets and other asset prices, and a precipitous rise in private debt.
Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand were the countries most affected by the crisis.
The causes of the debacle are many and disputed. Thailand’s economy developed into an economic bubble fueled by hot money. More and more was required as the size of the bubble grew. The same type of situation happened in Malaysia, and Indonesia, which had the added complication of what was called “crony capitalism”. The short-term capital flow was expensive and often highly conditioned for quick profit. Development money went in a largely uncontrolled manner to certain people only, not particularly the best suited or most efficient, but those closest to the centers of power.
At the time of the mid-1990s, Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea had large private current account deficits and the maintenance of fixed exchange rates encouraged external borrowing and led to excessive exposure to foreign exchange risk in both the financial and corporate sectors.
In the mid-1990s, a series of external shocks began to change the economic environment – the devaluation of the Chinese renminbi and the Japanese yen, raising of US interest rates which led to a strong U.S. dollar, the sharp decline in semiconductor prices; adversely affected their growth.
Many economists believe that the Asian crisis was created not by market psychology or technology, but by policies that distorted incentives within the lender–borrower relationship. The resulting large quantities of credit that became available generated a highly leveraged economic climate, and pushed up asset prices to an unsustainable level
Currently in Bangkok, Thailand, protests against the government remain strong with tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands regularly gathering across the city in an attempt to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office. However, there are many reasons why such protests never achieve their long-term goals, even when they achieve their short-term objectives. For example, were the protestors to successfully oust current PM Yingluck Shinawatra from office as they so desire, the political system is so corrupt that another corrupt PM would just replace her. Therefore, the protestors, who fail to understand and attack the root of the underlying problems of corruption- the bankers that monopolize control of the country’s monetary supply- instead attack the symptoms and manifestations of the corruption. Thus, corruption will always remain. When a Prime Minister or President anywhere in the world states,and actually does, the following: “I will rout out all bankers that manipulate interest rates, stock markets, commodity markets, real estate markets, forex markets and every single banker that prevents free markets from operating within my country”, then that will be a politician worthy of the people’s support. Any politician that fails to do this is unworthy of leading their country and unworthy of the respect of the citizens whom they supposedly serve. Though there have been some violent confrontations among Thai protesters and police thus far, since the bankers that run all countries know that the people’s focus on a corrupt politician is a welcome distraction from the true culprits of economic malaise (them), they are willing not to escalate violence against the protesters. However, if the protesters ever turn their protests to the people they should be trying to kick out of their country – the banking elite – such tolerance will go right out the window, as it did with the US police and Occupy Wall Street protesters when the Occupy Wall Streeters brought much too much attention upon them corrupt banking cartels for their comfort.
Thailand Political Protests, Sukhumvit Road, 22 December 2013
Kicking Yingluck Shinawatra out of office in Thailand, as is the misinformed goal of the protesters, will bring no sustainable change to Thailand despite the misguided ideals among the protesters that doing so will bring about a “better tomorrow” for their country. Leave the same corrupt bankers in control of your country and they will replace an ousted corrupt politician with another. One merely needs to learn from the mistakes of other misguided citizens. In Mexico in 2000, Mexicans were enormously ecstatic in replacing the corrupt Ernesto Zedillo and the 71-year ruling PRI government with Vicente Fox, until Fox revealed his true colors as a corrupt wolf in sheep’s clothing. In America in 2009, corrupt Barack Obama replaced corrupt George W. Bush, and so on and so on. There is an old saying that we must be the change we desire to be. The problem with this saying is that many of us will support corruption as long as we benefit from that corrupt leader because we have a “what’s in it for me?” mentality that is detrimental for not only the citizens of the countries in which we reside, but also for the citizens of the world. Until we can expand our horizons beyond our socio-economic demographic and beyond our countries to support integrity, honor, courage and justice for all peoples in all countries outside of our race, religious and political affiliations, and socio-economic statuses, we will continue to fail to bring about real positive change in this world no matter how many hundreds of thousands of people stand beside us and protest corruption in this world.
In the end, ousting political leaders is just about cutting off one of the snakes from the head of Medusa only to see another one grow back in its place. I spoke today to a good friend that attended the protests. He said that he spoke to an elderly woman that told him she was participating in the anti-government protests so she could leave a better country for her grandchildren. This false belief is precisely what is wrong with political protests of this nature, because ousting Yingluck Shinawatra from Thailand will accomplish nothing long-term in preventing corruption if the criminal bankers that back all corrupt politicians are not ousted along with her. If we desire real change, we must unite with all of our brothers and sisters engaged in similar struggles around the world and attack the individuals that fund these corrupt politicians and rout the money masters behind these politicians out of our countries first and foremost. And that is how we can bring about real, sustainable positive change for all of humanity. If political protests focused on the real culprits of economic instability within their countries, then they could be immensely successful in bringing about real change. However, as long as they focus on distractions and the players of the game rather than the real culprits, politicians will continue to sell all of us “hope” and “change we can believe in” and continue laughing behind our backs all the way to the bank.
Why Political Protests End Up Changing Absolutely Nothing
The proposed introduction of an amnesty law has sparked the latest round of protests [AFP]
|A Thai police officer has been killed and dozens of people wounded in clashes between security forces and opposition protesters in the capital, Bangkok, on a day the election commission urged the government to postpone February polls.More than 60 people were injured during the running battle between anti-government protesters, calling for government to resign and postponment of polls, and the police, according to the emergency services.
“He was shot in his chest and brought to hospital by helicopter,” said Jongjet Aoajenpong, director of the Police General Hospital.
“A team of doctors tried to resuscitate him for more than half an hour.”
Violence broke out as demonstrators tried to force their way into a sports stadium in the Thai capital, where representatives of about 30 political parties were gathered to register for parliamentary elections.
Scores of demonstrators, some armed with sling shots, threw rocks and attempted to break through police lines prompting the police to use rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon.
Inside the stadium the lot-drawing process was apparently unaffected by the unrest outside the gates.
However, some election officials later left the stadium by helicopter to avoid the unrest and because protesters were blocking the exits.
The election commission said in a statement that it was urging the government to consider “postponing the elections”, citing the security situation.
“We cannot organise free and fair elections under the constitution in the current circumstances,” Election Commission member Prawit Rattanapien said at a news conference.
Government officials did not immediately answer calls seeking a response.
The clashes are the first violent incident in almost two weeks of daily demonstrations on the streets of Bangkok and the worst civil disturbance since 2010, when more than 90 civilians were killed in a crackdown on anti-government protests.
This latest unrest, which has drawn tens of thousands of protesters onto the streets, has left five people dead and more than 200 wounded.
“Protesters are not peaceful and unarmed as they claimed,” Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said in a televised address on Thursday.
“They are intimidating officials and trespassing in government buildings.”
Protesters want Yingluck to step down and they oppose the elections, due to take place on February 2, because she is seen as sure to win them.
Her brother is the former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a military coup in 2006 and lives in self-imposed exile to avoid imprisonment on corruption charges.
He or his allies have won every election for the last 12 years.
In mid-October Yingluck tried to introduce an amnesty law that would have allowed Thaksin to return as a free man, a move that sparked the latest round of protests.
On Wednesday, protesters rejected a compromise from Yingluck, who announced a proposal for a national reform council. They are planning more civil disobedience and street protests to force her to resign as caretaker prime minister.
Police have not tried to arrest the ringleader, Suthep Thaugsuban, who is demanding the country be led by an unelected council until reforms can be implemented.
Protesters were on the way to the Yingluck’s residence to continue their demonstration, where about 500 police officers have been stationed.
Thai Prime Minister Dissolves Parliament In Response To Protests, Calls For New Elections | Zero Hedge
Moments ago news hit the tape that during a televised speech in Bangkok, Thai Prime Minister has proposed a decree to dissolve parliament and call new elections. This is likely in response to the plans of government protesters, who had planned to march on Government House this morning to pressure Yingluck to step down and hold fresh elections.
BREAKING: Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra dissolves Parliament, calls for elections.
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 9, 2013
Additionally, as VOA reports, a caretaker parliament will be appointed with limited powers.
PM Yingluck: For now caretaker cabinet with limited power. #Thailand
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) December 9, 2013
The immediate result is that the Thai Baht gains 0.1% to 32.115 against the USD, after being down as much as 0.5% earlier. However, this kneejerk reaction may not last. As VOA also reports…
Ms. Yingluck remaining as interim PM unlikely to mollify anti-gov’t marchers. #Thailand
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) December 9, 2013
Whether or not this development will be seen as bullish for the EURJPY formerly known as the S&P500, is of course a rhetorical question: if it is a flashing red headline, it is always bullish for stocks.
Thailand Police & Military Step Aside As Anti-Government Protesters Reach PM’s Office; Declare Victory | Zero Hedge
As the “peoples’ coup” in Thailand gets the blessing of the country’s Military leader (who stated he would not intervene), the police have also undertaken an unexpected reversal of strategy by removing barriers from the heavily fortified police and government buildings. The government no longer wants to confront the protesters in the 3rd of fighting with 3 dead and at least 230 injured. As AP reports, the protesters have made no attempts (yet) to enter Government House but are milling around the entrance. The government has ‘asked’ people to stay inside and police helicopters are reportedly dropping leaflets warning demonstrators to move out of the rally sites (on grounds of insurrection and possibel death penalty). The anti-government protesters have declared “victory” as the police state “there will be no tear gas today.”
The protests come as “the people” rise up against “the elites” – a familar story (via The Economist):
The “people’s coup”, declared by Suthep Thaugsuban, a former deputy prime minister from the opposition Democrat party, states that“Thailand ruled by the Shinawatras is intolerable, and therefore the clan, including Miss Yingluck, Mr Thaksin and the rest, must be removed from power and replaced by a “perfectly democratic People’s Council.”
Alt-Thai News Network sums up the people’s view of the current leader:
In a particularly cogent op-ed titled, “Yingluck can’t duck responsibility for protest fatalities,” former editor Veera Prateepchaikul sums up perfectly the state of illegitimacy within which the current regime in Thailand resides.
He begins by describing Yingluck Shinawatra, current prime minister and sister of deposed US-backed dictator Thaksin Shinawatra, as aloft and absent. During the rare occasion she does attend any sort of government function, she appears lost and confused, and often bluntly states she does not know the answers to questions any other national leader would be embarrassed not to answer. This illustrates her role as placeholder for her brother, not the “democratically elected leader” she is portrayed as being by the Western media.
and while we have seen this kind of unrest before, this time is different (via The Economist):
For as long as Thais can recall, their governments have built up their majorities in the provinces. The same governments have been unmade rather handily in the capital, to the perennial relief of the Bangkok elite who enjoy ties with the royal palace. The notion that power has shifted permanently from the centre to the provinces—where the Shinawatras have their base—seems to be unacceptable to many of the old guard. The elite are used to thinking that power can always be clawed back in Bangkok.
As the last few days have been bloody and violent as this amazing drone clip shows:
Thailand’s Military appear to implicitly bless the coup…
Thailand’s armed forces will “stand from afar and monitor” anti-govt protests, Army chief Prayuth Chan-Ocha tells reporters, adding that political problems should “be solved by politics.”
Which has lead to this…
A collapse in Thai Consumer Confidence
and this… (via Alt-Thai News Network)
Anti-regime protesters, outnumbering police at two locations in Bangkok, Police Head Quarters and Government House, are poised to take over and occupy both locations peacefully as they have other government sites throughout the city.
However, the regime has dropped leaflets over the protesters claiming that the anti-regime protests constitute “insurrection” (which carries a maximum penalty of death), that the leaders are to be arrested, and protesters are to return home.
And the following…
However, we would be surprised if the regime just allowed itself to be overthrown: