When news spread last night that Thailand’s Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej was to give a radio address at 7:30 a.m. today, rumors swirled that he would use the occasion to announce his resignation. Instead, he refused to cave in. “Don’t even think I am going to quit,” he said. “The country needs a leader, and the world is watching us.”
As protesters occupied Government House for the 10th straight day, Samak proposed a nation-wide referendum to find a way forward.
The state of emergency continues, and more and more countries are warning their citizens to exercise caution here — or not to come at all. The majority of Bangkok is unaffected by the demonstrations. Still, there are concerns about what the turmoil means for the Thai tourism industry.
Here’s a roundup of the latest media coverage:
New York Times: “Thai Leader Promises Referendum”
Economist: “An emergency in Thailand: The army is called in as pro- and anti-government protesters clash”
Bloomberg: “Thailand May Miss Tourism Targets as Unrest Spurs Cancellations”
Reuters: “Defiant Thai PM refuses to quit”
AP: “Thai protest leader wants to reduce voters’ power”
Wall Street Journal: “Thailand’s New (Old) Politics”
Telegraph: “Bank steps in to support the baht as Thailand plagued by political unrest”
Notable blog posts:
Bangkok Pundit: “Resign, No; Dissolution, No; Referendum, Yes UPDATE”
2Bangkok: “PAD’s ‘final war'”