Sunday, April 12, 2009

Thaksin calls for overthrow of Thai government

Former Thai PM Thaksin has called for the overthrow of the Thai government following a week of mass demonstrations by "red shirt" UDD protesters. Al Jazeera reports that Thaksin said:

"The troops who have already come out can come and join the Red Shirts to help us to get democracy for the people.

"This is a golden minute. We will make history and there will be no more coups in Thailand. We have to help achieve democracy for all of us."

The network reports that Thaksin said that if the government cracks down on the protesters, he may return to Thailand. The correspondent reports seeing a policeman put on a red shirt, and wonders if the government isn't losing control of the situation.

An AP report quotes Thaksin as having said:

"Now that they have tanks on the streets, it is time for the people to come out in revolution. And when it is necessary, I will come back to the country," he said in a telephoned message to followers who surrounded the prime's minister office.

Who are the Red Shirts?
An article in the Nation (via Bangkok Pundit) describes "3 factions of red shirts": 10,000 rural Thais from the north and northeast, people against the Democratic Party led government, and Thaksin supporters. Bangkok Pundit comments, "Finally, a story which reports on the fact that the majority of the protesters are really from Bangkok and nearby provinces."

At my other blog, THERELIVE, you will find links to the reports of brave bloggers have been reporting live from the streets of the Thai capital.

The words Thaksin used -- whether he called for a revolution -- have been the subject of some debate. Thai historian
Somsak Jeamteerasakul translates Thaksin's remarks as follows:
I would like to invite all sides: Let join hands. Take this opportunity to make a People’s Revolution in order to bring about the true democracy to the people. Don’t let this use of force [against the people] continue any longer.
Click here to read an informative discussion about this question.


  1. I am planning to take my family this evening to Phuket for 4 days. Is it safe to do so?

  2. A close friend is in Phuket at this time, and the political situation in Thailand does not cause me to worry for his safety.

    The South of Thailand tends to be pro-government, so I would not anticipate much trouble to surface down there.


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