The Red Shirts in Bangkok - A city on edge

Thailand's pro-government supporters claim they have staged co-ordinated rallies at over 40 military bases across the country, calling for the military to crackdown on the Red Shirts, claiming their protests are "illegal". The claim has yet to be independently verified, but what can't be disputed is that the situation continues to deteriorate.

The VOA (Voice of America) have published an interesting article on their website, about these new developments. You can access this information by clicking this link.

The British government have also updated their website to advise citizens against travelling to Thailand. For the the latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office news please click here......

A soldier was killed on 28th April, and early reports suggest that he was accidently shot by comrades, in a so-called "friendly fire " incident, when troops opened fire on a large group of Red Shirts heading towards a market on pickup trucks and motorbikes. At least 27 people have reportedly been killed and it has been estimated that nearly one thousand have been injured since the Red Shirts began the protests.

Thai security forces are not renowned for their constraint at the best of times and when their comrades are killed, this increases the likelihood that the current demonstrations will end in death and destruction. Unfortunately, there is a long list of protests in recent history, that have ended in mass blood-shed.

So far far the violence has been confined to Bangkok, but if it starts spreading to other parts of the country, then the government will be in a very difficult position and may have to end the stand-off using force, which so far they have been reluctant to do. If the government decides to introduce martial law, then this will give the opposition the excuse they need to resort to violence. It is not often that I feel sorry for governments, but on this occassion, Prime Minister Abhisit finds himself in an impossible position.

Whilst the situation continues and coupled with the disruption to air travel caused the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland, it will take many months, if not years, for Thailand's tourist industry to recover and it will have a lasting impact on the whole economy.

I have been hearing reports that in the last 24 hours, the Silom centre branch of McDonalds has been bombed. What philistines, is nothing scared? Any customers in the outlet at the time certainly wouldn't have been "loving it"!!!

But thank goodness it wasn't KFC.... so every cloud has a silver lining!!!


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