Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thai protesters shut down a TV station

In the latest in a series of street demonstrations which began in earnest after the installation of the Thai government of Prime Minister Samak*, a mob has taken over the Thai government TV station. AP reports:
Dozens of anti-government protesters armed with knives and guns stormed a government-held TV station and briefly forced it off the air Tuesday, while thousands more peacefully laid siege to government ministries, witnesses and local media said.

Members of the People's Alliance for Democracy [PAD] stormed the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand studios in the Thai capital, forcing it to shut down for a few hours before police arrested the 50 to 80 protesters without incident, the broadcaster said.

You would think, with their nemesis Thaksin out of the country, having successfully provoked an armed standoff with the Cambodian army over an ancient temple on the border, this mob of protesters would call it quits. Not so. Undeterred, the PAD group still seems determined to overthrow the elected government that they still consider a proxy for The One They Hate.

Far from the latest activities marking the beginning of another coup, Bangkok Pundit surmises that the Samak government has been granted a gift; the opportunity it has been waiting for to crack down on the demonstrators -- people who have gotten away with causing much disruption:

I am failing to see how they can benefit from this. Tolerance in many sectors was wearing thin with their continued disruption of traffic yet not seemingly being able to achieve anything. Seizing a TV station and trying to seal off the capital is taking things too far. If ever, and no doubt he wants to, Samak can use the police to break up the protests, he can now do so.

Apparently, there have been calls by PAD leaders for further protests. Bangkok Pundit is updating his blog -- with news as it comes in --about the unrest.

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