VISIT THE ANTI-JUNTA RALLY


I just came back from Bangkok today and I am a little tired. However, after watching the special interview of the ousted Prime Minister Mr. Thaksin in Phoenix TV just now, I decided to write something…

Last year I visited the anti-Thaksin rally site, accompanied by a senior police officer. The scene of the rally still leaps up vividly before my eyes. When I passed through the crowd and stood in the midst of the rally, my tide of thought was rising up and down. There were people chanting, listening to speeches, shouting…booths were set up to sell t-shirts, paintings and other anti-Thaksin related theme products. There were also distribution of banners and provision of free drinks and food for the protestors. To my surprise, the rally seemed commercialized and was more like a carnival. It was indeed a shocking and unforgettable experience.

Today, I am in another rally, the anti-junta rally in Sanam Luang. The crowd apparently significantly less than the rally last year. There were no booths, no free drinks and food, only high-spirit protestors listening to speeches and responding with applause and shouts once in a while. Many of the protestors wore headbands that read “CNS get out”. There were police and security officers standing by to ensure the situation kept under controlled.

One of my friends Rat, who is an architect from Chiang Mai, told us a lot of interesting stories. According to him, after the clash in May 1992, death squads were sent out to liquidate or kill protesters. Police just triggered their guns towards the protestors and his brother was among those who were shot dead. He had personally driven the car towards the police and the police fired at him with many shots but luckily he managed to have a narrow escape.

On the way returning to the hotel by cab, my friends were eager to talk about the political situation in Thailand. It was said that there were many anti-junta people including students and businessmen being arrested in the North, that the small business owners suffered because of no orders, that there were also many soldiers stationed in different areas to be on alert of any sign of disturbance, that there was no media freedom at all currently, there all these were just out of personal jealousy and retaliation, that there are more corruptions going on, the only difference is that it will be corruption with no development. The taxi driver also joined in the conversation, saying that the mafia and drug sellers were currently eager to move because their number one enemy had gone…

I only listened quietly to the elders’ conversation. Like many others, I’d been in this country for some years. There are beauties and faults of this country. It is not better nor worse than my own country, it is just different and I am attached to it, as I see that I will have my life going on here. True or false, the country is being hurt now and I only wish that the country recovers as soon as possible.

During the interview, the words that impressed me the most is that, Mr. Thaksin had said something which made me feel sad. He said he missed his home and his country. I can feel this …only think about it when one day we travel overseas and suddenly we cannot go back to our home…This I totally sympathize with him.

2 responses to “VISIT THE ANTI-JUNTA RALLY

  1. Very interesting to read an “on the ground” account of the anti-junta protests of which I post newspaper accounts over at Thai Blogs daily.

    http://www.thailandqa.com/forum/

    The “Chiangmai Mail” headlines this week concerns the military trying to stop protesters travelling to Bangkok

    http://www.chiangmai-mail.com/

    so it is not hard to believe that anti-junta activists are being arrested in the North.

    All I wish is that the corruption and total self interest would stop among the politicians-military or otherwise and the “small people” in Thailand, the farmer, the shop worker, the bus driver etc get a better deal than they have had up to now.

  2. Paul Garrioch

    It was a very interesting read.

    I can understand your sympathy for Khun Thaksin. But, no one forced Khun Thaksin to steal millions from the people. No one forced him not to pay tax on his telecommunications sale to Singapore. It was all his own choice.

    He is welcome now to come home and face the courts. But he chooses to stay overseas and play the media instead.

    Either way. Whoever you agree or support or sympathize with. The current situation is not good for Thailand, and is making everyone concerned. The sooner it finishes the better and then we can go back to having politicians ripping us off again.

    Oh. Bugger.

    Oh, well, at least Thailand,when ignoring the politics, is a beautiful place, with great people and deep down under the pile of sh.. the politicians and business people push on us, there is a wonderful culture and philosophy and peaceful way of life here.

    I hope somehow the ordinary people can continue to struggle on to live there lives in the harmonious way they have been doing for so long, despite the rubbish.