Thailand update: Yingluck won’t quit, details from Suthep, more drone journalism

Here’s the latest:

Yingluck won’t quit.

The AP reports:

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said Tuesday she would not resign ahead of national elections set for Feb. 2, despite opposition demands she step down as the caretaker head of government.

Yingluck spoke one day after she announced elections — and one day after the main opposition leader ended a massive protest rally of 150,000 people by insisting his movement had now assumed broad political power.

And:

Yingluck told reporters Tuesday that ‘‘I must do my duty as caretaker prime minister according to the constitution.’’

She became choked up when asked about her family’s role in Thai politics.

‘‘I’m not without emotion,’’ she said, her voice quavering. ‘‘I’m also Thai. Do you want me not to step foot on Thai soil anymore?

‘‘I have retreated as far as I can. So I ask to be treated fairly,’’ she said, turning and walking quickly away from the podium.

Embedded above and on YouTube here is video.

Suthep provides details

Meanwhile, what does protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban propose in the way of a new governmet, exactly? The New York Times has some details on what he said last night:

In a rambling speech to supporters, the main leader of the protest, Suthep Thaugsuban, declared a “people’s revolution” and a chance for the country to “start over.” The police, notorious for their corruption, would be replaced with “security volunteers,” he said. A new constitution would be written that would ban populist policies of the type that Mr. Thaksin has employed. And a “people’s council” would replace Parliament.

Elsewhere, a couple of quotes from Bloomberg worth checking out:

“Thailand’s crisis will not be resolved unless there is an unlikely compromise, bloody civil war, or the king steps in,” said Paul Chambers, director of research at the Institute of Southeast Asian Affairs at Chiang Mai University. “He might do so again,” Chambers said.

And:

Yingluck allowed protesters to seize government buildings without police resistance last week in an effort to avoid violence that could give powerful institutions reason to intervene, said Michael Montesano, a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore. Those institutions may have pressured Yingluck to dissolve the house, he said.

“One can only expect the government, now with a caretaker status, will continue to turn the other cheek,” Montesano said. “But the Democrats clearly smell blood. And, without some sort of outside pressure on them to calm down, there is every reason to expect them to continue to agitate for a very different political system.”

NMA on Thailand

Thailand has received the Next Media Animation treatment — complete with incorrect pronunciation of names.

Embedded above and on YouTube here: “Is Yingluck finally outta luck?” (Via Bangkok Pundit.)

More drone journalism

And finally: I’ve written, both here and at Quartz, about the increasing use of drone journalism here in Thailand.

Click through to see a BBC report from yesterday in which drone protest footage transitions to a live piece to camera. Pretty cool.