7 April 2010
The Thai government refuses to hold democratic elections and is preparing for violent repression.
After Democrat politicians brought weapons into Parliament and their officials threw CS gas canisters into peaceful Red Shirt protestors outside, the government of Abhisit Vejjajiva declared a state of emergency in Bangkok and its vicinities. This gives them the power to shut down all opposition media and use force against the pro-democracy demonstrators. There are reports that soldiers are massing at the international airport in order to attack the peaceful demonstrators.
The Vejjajiva government and the army are afraid of facing real democratic elections. They know they would lose, since a majority of people support the Red Shirts. That is why they refuse to call elections.
This government came to power after a military coup and has used the courts and violent demonstrations of semi-fascist Yellow Shirts to support its dictatorship.
And yet, Dutch MEP Hans van Baalen, President of the Liberal International, supports the military-backed government in Thailand and claims that a crackdown on Red Shirts would defend the rule of law in Thailand.
8 April 2010
Prachatai, the only independent web-based newspaper in Thailand, has been closed down by the military-backed government. The government has also sent soldiers to close down the Red Shirt TV station and various community radio stations. The aim is to shut down all free media and blanket the country in darkness.
Meanwhile, the rabid Yellow Shirt ASTV media has been given a free hand to broadcast programs advocating violence against Red Shirts.
Giles Ji Ungpakorn is a Thai socialist, currently in exile in the U.K. His latest book Thailand’s Crisis and the Fight for Democracy will be published in April 2010.