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Thailand forum

Protests in Bangkok today (Monday December 9, 2013)

Posted by somtam2000 on 8/12/2013 at 18:17 admin

Yes the protests are back on following a brief break for the King's Birthday.

Common advice is:
a) I've you're arriving or departing to Bangkok today by air, allow an extra hour or so to get to the airport. If you're using Suvannabhumi, use the rail link.
b) Avoid the protests -- these are not put on for tourists.
c) stay informed of developments (news websites etc - some useful links further on)
d) Keep in mind that the vast majority of Bangkok (and the country for that matter) are entirely unaffected by these ongoing dramas.

Richard Barrow has put together a neat Google Map showing where to avoid: Protest Sites & Hotspots in Bangkok - December 2013

Here's a few links and stuff to keep yourself informed.

http://newley.com/
http://www.richardbarrow.com/

Journalists and pundits on Twitter worth keeping an eye on:
BangkokPundit
RichardBarrow
Hashtag #Thaiuprising
Forestmat
PakHead
Newley
Aim_NT
GeorgeHenton
KateHodal
Veen_NT

We'll also be updating the Travelfish Facebook page as matters develop.

Safe travels all!

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Posted by somtam2000 on 8/12/2013 at 19:20 admin

There's also a far more exhaustive list of who to follow regarding the Bangkok protests on Twitter here.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 8/12/2013 at 20:01 admin

The Thai PM has just announced on Thai TV that parliament is to be dissolved (I think she needs permission from electoral body/palace for this - not sure) in prep for new elections.

This is unlikely to matter much to the protesters as many pundits suggest they'd almost certainly lose new elections. This being more or less the root of this entire shebang - the Democrats have been consistently unsuccessful at winning Thai elections since Thaksin Shinawatra's Thai Rak Thai first hit the scene - so they want to change the entire electoral system.

So the protests are likely to continue as planned.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 8/12/2013 at 20:07 admin

An impressive pic of the protest march to Government House.
BbAghmWCQAINqO-.jpg
Photo by kowit_js

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Posted by somtam2000 on 8/12/2013 at 20:13 admin

The ABC has a decent wrap on the parliament dissolution as does AP.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 8/12/2013 at 21:48 admin

Good piece just now by Thomas Fuller for the NYT which is worth quoting in part from.

"Protests in Bangkok have left five people dead and hundreds injured over the past two weeks. Ms. Anchalee and other protest leaders have called for a system that would replace the country's electoral democracy -- a vaguely defined "people's council" that has been widely derided by civic leaders and scholars as idealistic, unworkable and retrograde.

The opposition in Thailand has been deeply frustrated by its inability to win elections against the powerful political machine backed by the billionaire tycoon Thaksin Shinawatra, a former prime minister who now lives in exile. Ms. Yingluck is Mr. Thaksin's sister.

On Sunday, the Democrat Party, Thailand's oldest and the main force behind the country's political opposition, announced that its members would resign from Parliament and join anti-government street demonstrations. "We cannot beat them," said Theptai Seanapong, one of the members of Parliament who resigned on Sunday. "It doesn't matter if we raise our hands and feet in parliamentary votes, we will never win."

...[snip]...

Though opposition has repeatedly said that Mr. Thaksin has maintained his power through vote buying, two of Thailand's leading political researchers wrote a widely circulated article last week saying the allegation was "dangerous nonsense" because it was policies, not vote buying, that have cemented the loyalty of many voters in the provinces toward Mr. Thaksin."

But the whole piece is well worth a read.

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Posted by captainbkk on 9/12/2013 at 03:09

pretty useless advice, as f.e. around KSR-just beside the main foal point of demo-arrivals, it was simply IMpossible to get in/out of the area this morning-even no taxi to be found for 1000bt. many frustrated and thus angry farang with suitcases etc. Only way were the boats-so overloaded that crowd control had to be put on and one had to wait several boats before being allowed on.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 9/12/2013 at 05:16 admin

@captainbkk - if you've some less less useless advice to give than mine, please don't hold back.

Thanks.

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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 9/12/2013 at 06:40

Stupid Thais think this will end corruption LOL. Every 2nd policeman is corrupt. The whole country is a joke.

#9 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by somtam2000 on 9/12/2013 at 08:29 admin

The BBC has a short wrap and a drone video to give an idea of the scale of the protest. Little has been resolved, but Suthep's speech was pretty eye opening -- and worked to highlight that, as the BBC report says, the true goals remain very unclear.

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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 9/12/2013 at 20:22

What happens if they lose the election? Another protest?

The other side will protest as well

Country is a joke.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 10/12/2013 at 03:07 admin

A decent wrap on the current situation

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Posted by cybermutiny on 10/12/2013 at 09:29

Thanks for the updates. I'm in Kho Chang at the moment but will need to go to Suvannabhumi soon. It seems like the best bet it to to just avoid overnighting in Bangkok whatsoever.

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Posted by dodgytrainers on 11/12/2013 at 07:45

Im in bangkok now cant avoid the protests even got caught up in one but all friendly enough i think they felt cool a Farrang was with them i just explained i loved their country because they CAN protest (no chance of that in China) i could only see danger in the sheer numbers of people not the mood (then maybe thats just me)

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Posted by blyths24 on 13/12/2013 at 08:47

Im heading to Khoason Road Xmas day.....

Nervous, excited and scared all at the same time....

#15 blyths24 has been a member since 20/11/2013. Posts: 10


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