Monthly Archives: April 2010

Clashes between red shirts and troops today

Thailand violence flares as red-shirts and troops clash [BBC, April 28, 2010 — includes video footage]

Thai troops and a convoy of hundreds of red-shirt protesters have clashed on the outskirts of Bangkok.

One soldier has died, reportedly from a shot fired by a member of the security forces, and at least 10 people have been injured.

The protesters had earlier left their fortified camp in central Bangkok to drive to a rally 50km (30 miles) away.

Thai troops, protesters clash in Bangkok suburb [Reuters, April 28, 2010]

Thai troops fired live rounds in the air and shot rubber bullets in a chaotic clash with anti-government protesters on a highway in Bangkok’s suburbs on Wednesday that wounded 10 people and possibly killed one.

Stay tuned for more. And don’t forget that for real-time updates, you can consult my Thailand Twitter list.

Map of red shirt protest areas in Bangkok

Map of red shirt protests in Bangkok

Above is a map of the red shirt protest zones here in Bangkok. It appears to be accurate as of April 25.

The map shows the areas currently occupied by protesters, and includes details about roadblocks. You can find a bigger version here, or by clicking on the image above.

(The image source is unknown; found via @farangone)

Cross-posted to TopicThailand.com, where I continue to add resources (and fiddle with the graphical design).

Red shirt protest updates

Here’s the latest news:

  1. Thais Worry About Lasting Violence [WSJ]
  2. Thailand’s yellows urge action against red-shirts [BBC News]
  3. Thai rallies ditch red shirts in case of crackdown [AP]

And for those of you wondering whether or not it’s safe to visit Thailand, I suggest checking out Staying Safe in Thailand: Streetwise Advice + Twitter, a post from Catherine Wentworth.

Explosions in Silom

Here are my images from the time I spent at Silom last night. I arrived not long after what authorities say was an M79 grenade exploded near the Dusit Thani hotel, in an area where pro-government demonstrators had been rallying.

This area is across an intersection from the red shirt barricade that I wrote about previously. (Compare this image from April 21 with this one from last night.)

The blast that happened here was one of a series of explosions that killed at least one person and injured at least 75. (Various sources are providing different numbers at this point.)

You can find more details by searching Google News or by checking out this story in the Bangkok Post.

I was concentrating on TV and radio work, so I didn’t have much time to snap many images. But these photos should give you a sense of what the scene looked like in the hours after the blast occurred.

For commentary on the evening, I suggest checking out this blog post from Andrew Marshall, who was there last night.

UPDATE: As Andrew points out, you can find some images from last night in this New York Times slide show.

Red shirts and pro-government demonstrators in Silom

Red shirt protesters, supporters of the government, and army troops have converged on an intersection in Silom, at the mouth of Bangkok’s financial district.

No violence has taken place, though when I was there, earlier this evening, there was some tension in the air. The red shirts were dancing to loud rock music, while the pro-government crowds across the intersection were themselves chanting and cheering

The red shirts with whom I spoke told me they are “defending” their main protest site, at the Rajaprasong intersection, after the soldiers were positioned in Silom. This came after red shirts leaders announced their plans to march to the area.

The reds have constructed a large barricade made of bamboo and automobile tires on the Lumphini Park side of Silom.

The demonstrators with whom I spoke said they did not possess guns or bombs, and that — as many of them have said to me in the past — they are fighting for democracy.

The anti-government “no color” demonstrators, meanwhile (see the last image below), were positioned on the Silom side of the intersection. They expressed their dislike for the red shirts, and collected money among themselves to buy water and food for the troops.

These “no colors” told me they love the king, and that Thaksin and the red shirts want to create a Thai republic.

Here are some images from tonight. And here’s the full photoset.

As a reminder, you can follow me on Twitter for real-time updates.

Update — April 22: fixed link to full photoset…

Red shirt protest update: Army soldiers positioned in Silom

Just briefly: The story of the day, from AP: “Armed Thai troops patrol Bangkok business district.” The soldiers took up positions there early this morning after Red Shirt protesters said they’d take their demonstrations to Silom. But that didn’t happen.

Also, an interview with Thai PM Abhisit was broadcast on TV this evening. The Bangkok Post has a brief item, and The Nation‘s Tulsathit provided a real-time translation on Twitter.

I spent some time in Silom and at Rajaprasong, the main rally site, today. I hope to post pics and observations tomorrow.

Red shirt protest update: foiled attempt to catch red leaders

Here’s the story of the day (you won’t believe it until you read it), as covered by the NYT. And here’s a TIME essay called “Thailand’s Broken Democracy.” The latter contains this memorable passage:

In the facile political taxonomy we use to categorize nations, Thailand is considered a democracy. Yet the country remains, if not a banana republic, a juicy, messy mango republic

(Both of these items, naturally, have been added to TopicThailand.com.)