Tag Archives: red shirts

Martial law an interlude in Thailand crisis – Manthorpe

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King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand

Amid the tension and turmoil in Thailand this week, only one thing is  certain — the military would not have intervened without the approval of ailing King Bhumibol Adulyadej, writes International Affairs analyst Jonathan Manthorpe. An excerpt of his new column:

A day after declaring martial law, the first attempt by Thailand’s army to mediate an end to the country’s eight years of political turmoil ended inconclusively, with both major factions refusing to end their street protests.

Hours after launching what has been called “a half coup,” Army Chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha today chaired a meeting with representatives of the governing Pheu Thai Party, the opposition Democrat Party and the chairman of Thailand’s election commission. 

But he was unable to get any commitment from either the governing or opposition parties to end their demonstrations, which have regularly spawned violence since Thai politics was thrown into chaos by the 2006 military coup that ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who is now in self-imposed exile.

Gen. Prayuth insists his declaration of martial law is not a coup, that the government of Pheu Thai acting Prime Minister Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan is still the administration, and that his only aim is to prevent bloodshed …  read more.*

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Click here for Jonathan Manthorpe’s page, with all of his columns for F&O.

*Independent, non-partisan and employee-owned, F&O serves and is entirely funded by reader payments. We do not carry advertising or solicit donations from non-journalism foundations or causes.

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Thailand in Turmoil — Manthorpe

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Caretaker Prime Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan

Thailand is once again roiled by political turmoil, with a rural-urban split. Will there be civil war? Can the country’s aging King Bhumibol Adulyadej hang on? What will come of its democracy when Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, “seen as a vindictive man with thuggish instincts,” takes over? International Affairs analyst Jonathan Manthorpe explains why military intervention – now being widely discussed – is no simple matter. Excerpt of Manthorpe’s new column:

Thailand’s military leaders are clear that they don’t want to launch another coup, but the growing intensity of the political chaos may give them little choice.

Last week’s ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra by the Constitutional Court for abuse of power has left dangerous uncertainty about which political leader, if any, has the authority to run the government.

There is even talk of civil war as cohorts of pro and anti-government supporters circle each other in the capital, Bangkok, so far without serious clashes.

In the last few days anti-government demonstrators from the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, known as Yellow Shirts, have rampaged through the capital, Bangkok, attacking media outlets and demanding the removal of the caretaker government.

So far there have been no clashes with the government supporters of the United Front for democracy Against Dictatorship, known as Red Shirts. But emotions are high and on a hair-trigger …  read more.*

*Subscription or a $1 site day pass  required to read Renewed fears of Thai military coup as political chaos grows.

Click here for Jonathan Manthorpe’s page, with all of his columns for F&O.

*Independent, non-partisan and employee-owned, F&O serves and is entirely funded by reader payments. We do not carry advertising or solicit donations from non-journalism foundations or causes.

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