Thailand Police & Military Step Aside As Anti-Government Protesters Reach PM's Office; Declare Victory
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/02/2013 23:56 -0500
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 possible 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...