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Click Here for the Common Language Project Website

 

Sarah Stuteville and Alex Stonehill

 

February 26, 2006

   

BANGKOK—Tens of thousands of Thai protesters poured into Sanam Luang Park in Bangkok this evening to voice their opposition to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and push for his resignation in a rally that is expected to last for days. The protest comes after a month of intensifying pressure against the PM centered on accusations that he has used his political power to benefit his personal business dealings. Thaksin has dissolved parliament and called for snap elections next month which he hopes will confirm his mandate to rule, but opposition parties and today's demonstrators say it's too little too late.

   

"Thaksin is a cheating man," says one protestor, Teera Pon, 20, a student at Bangkok's Assumption University. "He may win votes because he gives a little tax break to farmers, but he is really stealing resources and making the Thai people poorer and poorer." Pon is representative of the anti-Thaksin movement, largely based in urban areas and led by students and academics, who say that while Thaksin may enjoy some support among the rural poor, his populist policies are short-sighted, providing him with political cover while he enriches himself at the people's expense.

   

Those sentiments were in full display at tonight's rally, where protestors dressed in yellow, the color of the anti-Thaksin movement, and fluttered red, white, and blue Thai flags backdropped by the gleaming gold towers of the Grand Palace. Chants of "Thaksin must go" and the shouts of amplified speakers competed with the sounds of roaring buses and sputtering taxis, while spray-painted banners billowed in the occasional breeze. Though Thai papers had been reporting the possibility of clashes with pro-Thaksin factions, the demonstrators, a mix of families, students and religious groups, remained optimistic that their message would be delivered peacefully.

   

Memories of 1992 protests, which successfully led to the overthrow of General Suchinda's military dictatorship, but not before hundreds of people were killed by the army, have not faded far from the minds of the Thai people. The '92 protest in many ways marked the advent of Thai democracy.

   

As a result, Thais especially in the anti-Thaksin movement say they fear the erosion of their still-young democracy and worry that big business's influence on their government has already led to the erosion of press freedom, a lack of transparency in government, and elections that are bought rather than won.

   

Comparisons to U.S. President George W. Bush have been unavoidable in this historically pro-American country and many of this evening's banners and signs included images of the U.S. president and carried English messages that seemed to hope that they would be heard abroad such as, "Don't be deceived by his Glittering Gold. With it he would cast a gun to rob your country."

   

Perhaps Pongpan Wongsakulwong, a car salesmen wearing an American "United We Stand" tee-shirt and an anti-Thaksin bandana, put it best when with emotion in his voice he shouted to no one in particular, "Get out Thaksin! Get out! He sells out Thailand from underneath her people!"

An anti-Thaksin demonstration in Bangkok, March 2006. These are the student activists with their cheeky slogans. But many people felt angry about how Thaksin got away with not paying his taxes.

The students activists, who camped here outside the Parliament building for four weeks, creating pressure for Thaksin to step down which he eventually did.

Click Here for the Common Language Project Website

 

Sarah Stuteville and Alex Stonehill

 

February 26, 2006

   

BANGKOK—Tens of thousands of Thai protesters poured into Sanam Luang Park in Bangkok this evening to voice their opposition to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and push for his resignation in a rally that is expected to last for days. The protest comes after a month of intensifying pressure against the PM centered on accusations that he has used his political power to benefit his personal business dealings. Thaksin has dissolved parliament and called for snap elections next month which he hopes will confirm his mandate to rule, but opposition parties and today's demonstrators say it's too little too late.

   

"Thaksin is a cheating man," says one protestor, Teera Pon, 20, a student at Bangkok's Assumption University. "He may win votes because he gives a little tax break to farmers, but he is really stealing resources and making the Thai people poorer and poorer." Pon is representative of the anti-Thaksin movement, largely based in urban areas and led by students and academics, who say that while Thaksin may enjoy some support among the rural poor, his populist policies are short-sighted, providing him with political cover while he enriches himself at the people's expense.

   

Those sentiments were in full display at tonight's rally, where protestors dressed in yellow, the color of the anti-Thaksin movement, and fluttered red, white, and blue Thai flags backdropped by the gleaming gold towers of the Grand Palace. Chants of "Thaksin must go" and the shouts of amplified speakers competed with the sounds of roaring buses and sputtering taxis, while spray-painted banners billowed in the occasional breeze. Though Thai papers had been reporting the possibility of clashes with pro-Thaksin factions, the demonstrators, a mix of families, students and religious groups, remained optimistic that their message would be delivered peacefully.

   

Memories of 1992 protests, which successfully led to the overthrow of General Suchinda's military dictatorship, but not before hundreds of people were killed by the army, have not faded far from the minds of the Thai people. The '92 protest in many ways marked the advent of Thai democracy.

   

As a result, Thais especially in the anti-Thaksin movement say they fear the erosion of their still-young democracy and worry that big business's influence on their government has already led to the erosion of press freedom, a lack of transparency in government, and elections that are bought rather than won.

   

Comparisons to U.S. President George W. Bush have been unavoidable in this historically pro-American country and many of this evening's banners and signs included images of the U.S. president and carried English messages that seemed to hope that they would be heard abroad such as, "Don't be deceived by his Glittering Gold. With it he would cast a gun to rob your country."

   

Perhaps Pongpan Wongsakulwong, a car salesmen wearing an American "United We Stand" tee-shirt and an anti-Thaksin bandana, put it best when with emotion in his voice he shouted to no one in particular, "Get out Thaksin! Get out! He sells out Thailand from underneath her people!"

The students activists, who camped here outside the Parliament building for four weeks, creating pressure for Thaksin to step down which he eventually did.

Click Here for the Common Language Project Website

 

Sarah Stuteville and Alex Stonehill

 

February 26, 2006

   

BANGKOK—Tens of thousands of Thai protesters poured into Sanam Luang Park in Bangkok this evening to voice their opposition to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and push for his resignation in a rally that is expected to last for days. The protest comes after a month of intensifying pressure against the PM centered on accusations that he has used his political power to benefit his personal business dealings. Thaksin has dissolved parliament and called for snap elections next month which he hopes will confirm his mandate to rule, but opposition parties and today's demonstrators say it's too little too late.

   

"Thaksin is a cheating man," says one protestor, Teera Pon, 20, a student at Bangkok's Assumption University. "He may win votes because he gives a little tax break to farmers, but he is really stealing resources and making the Thai people poorer and poorer." Pon is representative of the anti-Thaksin movement, largely based in urban areas and led by students and academics, who say that while Thaksin may enjoy some support among the rural poor, his populist policies are short-sighted, providing him with political cover while he enriches himself at the people's expense.

   

Those sentiments were in full display at tonight's rally, where protestors dressed in yellow, the color of the anti-Thaksin movement, and fluttered red, white, and blue Thai flags backdropped by the gleaming gold towers of the Grand Palace. Chants of "Thaksin must go" and the shouts of amplified speakers competed with the sounds of roaring buses and sputtering taxis, while spray-painted banners billowed in the occasional breeze. Though Thai papers had been reporting the possibility of clashes with pro-Thaksin factions, the demonstrators, a mix of families, students and religious groups, remained optimistic that their message would be delivered peacefully.

   

Memories of 1992 protests, which successfully led to the overthrow of General Suchinda's military dictatorship, but not before hundreds of people were killed by the army, have not faded far from the minds of the Thai people. The '92 protest in many ways marked the advent of Thai democracy.

   

As a result, Thais especially in the anti-Thaksin movement say they fear the erosion of their still-young democracy and worry that big business's influence on their government has already led to the erosion of press freedom, a lack of transparency in government, and elections that are bought rather than won.

   

Comparisons to U.S. President George W. Bush have been unavoidable in this historically pro-American country and many of this evening's banners and signs included images of the U.S. president and carried English messages that seemed to hope that they would be heard abroad such as, "Don't be deceived by his Glittering Gold. With it he would cast a gun to rob your country."

   

Perhaps Pongpan Wongsakulwong, a car salesmen wearing an American "United We Stand" tee-shirt and an anti-Thaksin bandana, put it best when with emotion in his voice he shouted to no one in particular, "Get out Thaksin! Get out! He sells out Thailand from underneath her people!"

Click Here for the Common Language Project Website

 

Sarah Stuteville and Alex Stonehill

 

February 26, 2006

   

BANGKOK—Tens of thousands of Thai protesters poured into Sanam Luang Park in Bangkok this evening to voice their opposition to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and push for his resignation in a rally that is expected to last for days. The protest comes after a month of intensifying pressure against the PM centered on accusations that he has used his political power to benefit his personal business dealings. Thaksin has dissolved parliament and called for snap elections next month which he hopes will confirm his mandate to rule, but opposition parties and today's demonstrators say it's too little too late.

   

"Thaksin is a cheating man," says one protestor, Teera Pon, 20, a student at Bangkok's Assumption University. "He may win votes because he gives a little tax break to farmers, but he is really stealing resources and making the Thai people poorer and poorer." Pon is representative of the anti-Thaksin movement, largely based in urban areas and led by students and academics, who say that while Thaksin may enjoy some support among the rural poor, his populist policies are short-sighted, providing him with political cover while he enriches himself at the people's expense.

   

Those sentiments were in full display at tonight's rally, where protestors dressed in yellow, the color of the anti-Thaksin movement, and fluttered red, white, and blue Thai flags backdropped by the gleaming gold towers of the Grand Palace. Chants of "Thaksin must go" and the shouts of amplified speakers competed with the sounds of roaring buses and sputtering taxis, while spray-painted banners billowed in the occasional breeze. Though Thai papers had been reporting the possibility of clashes with pro-Thaksin factions, the demonstrators, a mix of families, students and religious groups, remained optimistic that their message would be delivered peacefully.

   

Memories of 1992 protests, which successfully led to the overthrow of General Suchinda's military dictatorship, but not before hundreds of people were killed by the army, have not faded far from the minds of the Thai people. The '92 protest in many ways marked the advent of Thai democracy.

   

As a result, Thais especially in the anti-Thaksin movement say they fear the erosion of their still-young democracy and worry that big business's influence on their government has already led to the erosion of press freedom, a lack of transparency in government, and elections that are bought rather than won.

   

Comparisons to U.S. President George W. Bush have been unavoidable in this historically pro-American country and many of this evening's banners and signs included images of the U.S. president and carried English messages that seemed to hope that they would be heard abroad such as, "Don't be deceived by his Glittering Gold. With it he would cast a gun to rob your country."

   

Perhaps Pongpan Wongsakulwong, a car salesmen wearing an American "United We Stand" tee-shirt and an anti-Thaksin bandana, put it best when with emotion in his voice he shouted to no one in particular, "Get out Thaksin! Get out! He sells out Thailand from underneath her people!"

Anti government protesters at one of ten sights.http://youtu.be/0646Gp2h0ps YOUTUBE VIDEO

Somehow I got caught up with a large anti-Thaksin protest at the Victory monument

Co-Leader of People's Alliance for Democracy, Somsak Kosaisuk

29 August 2008 Bangkok, Thailand

Thousands of protesters, defying a court order to end their siege, are camped on the grounds of Government House, saying they will remain until the coalition government lead by Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej steps down, accusing Samak of being a figurehead for ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra

  

Many of these protesters are the well healed middle classes

P.A.D. march to the British Embassy on Wittayu Road, to request the extradition of ex Prime Minister Thaksin, so he can face corruption charges. And his wife, Pojaman, to return and serve her convicted three year jail sentence.

 

(Somewhere amidst this lot there are seven confused farang blokes, with their wives, trying to apply for visas.)

P.A.D. march to the British Embassy on Wittayu Road, to request the extradition of ex Prime Minister Thaksin, so he can face corruption charges. And his wife, Pojaman, to return and serve her convicted three year jail sentence.

  

Not quite sure what particular aspect of the Che Guevara spirit this guy is referring to. Still, he neatly shows the cross section of P.A.D.'s support at these events.

P.A.D. march to the British Embassy on Wittayu Road, to request the extradition of ex Prime Minister Thaksin, so he can face corruption charges. And his wife, Pojaman, to return and serve her convicted three year jail sentence.

 

(Next week sees a similar march to the Embassy ...lead by British workers in Thailand who want to get new passports with more than 16 poxy pages.)

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