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Due to the Thaksin Shinawatra Red Shirt protesters destructive outbursts while mobbing Bangkok 20 people were reported dead including a photographer with the Reuters News Agency and more than 800 injured


Richard Ricciardi - National Radio Text Service

Sunday April 11, 2010


After the Thai government applied a State of Emergency Wednesday April 7 in which groups of five or more can be broken up the conflict between the Thaksin Shinawatra incited Red Shirts and Thai government military reached a high point yesterday (Saturday April 10) as the protesters evolved from securing the Ratchaprasong intersection and Phan Fa Bridge in upscale shopping areas resulting in public transport being shut down to attacking a television station, breaking car windows and inflicting property damage. Protesters used taxi cabs to barricade themselves inside the area. Shop owners are angry since they are losing business and money due to the blockage and lack of access to the locations.

Owing to the Thaksin Shinawatra Red Shirt protesters mobbing Bangkok 20 people were reported dead including four soldiers, 14 civilians and a Japanese photographer with the Reuters News Agency and more than 800 injured. Though it was to be a peaceful demonstration some protesters are believed to have guns, grenades and are using petrol bombs. The Skytrain and bus services were shut down according to reports on Channel News Asia.

Thai troops were firing rubber bullets into the crowd to deter their advances and destructive actions. Live ammunition was fired into the air according to the news reports.

The previous day the government shut down the Red Shirt Peoples Channel in which Thaksin has been communicating to them as well as his Bangkok based supporters giving speeches in support of Thaksin. Red Shirt supporters stormed the satellite transmission location and the stations signal was later restored.

The Thai military has advised that non essential travel should not be made to the country and a number of countries have issued travel warnings against traveling to the land of smiles.

The irony being that the protesters are poor people from the rural areas of Thailand who are attacking the rich Yellow Shirts of Bangkok who are said to look down upon the poor who have dark skins and labor in the sun.

The supposedly poor Red Shirts have plenty of money to erect stages, have sound and video equipment to protest and state their cause. The money funding their actions is believed to come from former Thai Prime Minister and now fugitive Thaksin who is on the run from serving a two year sentence for corruption. He has been using video phone technology, and social networking sites to communicate with his followers resulting in their destructive actions.

The irony is Thaksin at one time was one of the richest men is Southeast Asia and this surge in protests has escalated since the Thai government took 1.4 billion dollars of Shinawatra's money for a misuse of power during his term in office during the time which he is said to have that he obtained the money.

The protesters have spread out to various areas around Bangkok including the heavily trafficked tourist areas of Khao San Road and the Democracy Monument. Prior to the shift of outbreaks tourists interviewed in other parts of Bangkok stated assuredly that they weren't worried because the outbreaks were away from them. Thasksin and his family are from Chaing Mai in the north of Thailand and a heavily visited tourist area. It is targeted by the Red Shirts for more demonstrations.

That tourist's naivety indicates they don't know Thailand or its history when four dozen people were killed in a protest in 1992. At that time we were there shortly before and after that incident and the atmosphere were as if nothing had ever happened.

Another aspect of this conflict is the poor verses the rich issue. The military troops are not rich and largely come from the poor area where the protesters come form. There is an opinion expressed that many of the military are in sympathy with the protesters. The reality is they could be fighting against some of their own family.

Protesters are requesting that the King intervene and quell the situation.


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