The clashes between police and anti-government protesters here in Bangkok on Tuesday morning left two people dead and more than 400 injured. Order has been restored, but political uncertainty remains. Here are some recent news reports:
WSJ editorial: Thailand in Turmoil
Two years after the Thai military ousted then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the full cost of that bloodless coup is finally becoming clear. Violent antigovernment protests this week have left two people dead, 443 injured, and the country’s democratic prospects in jeopardy.
The struggle is over whether Thai citizens will continue to enjoy their democratic rights. The protesters, who seek to oust the current government, have brought the government to near paralysis. The cast of characters is similar to 2006: Seven months ago the same group that had helped organize protests to oust Mr. Thaksin re-formed, led by a similar coterie of Bangkok elites, businessmen and academics.
They now call themselves the People’s Alliance for Democracy, but they are anything but. Their goal is to eliminate Thailand’s one-man-one-vote democracy and replace it with a parliament that is 30% elected and 70% appointed. Why? To make sure that no one like Mr. Thaksin is ever elected again.
NY Times: Some Thai Protest Charges Dropped
In a victory for anti-government demonstrators, a Thai appeals court on Thursday dropped charges of treason against nine protest leaders, calling the evidence against them too “vague.”
The court, however, upheld a charge of inciting unrest.
Thousands of demonstrators have barricaded themselves in the compound of the prime minister’s office for the past six weeks and shows no signs of abating.
Reuters: Thailand’s political crisis: how it might play out
Thai protesters vowed to intensify their campaign against the government on Wednesday, a day after two people died and more than 400 were injured in the worst street violence in 16 years.
The Southeast Asian nation has been locked in crisis since the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) began street protests in May, accusing the government of being a puppet of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Following are some scenarios of what might happen next, although none are likely to heal the fundamental rift between the rural and urban poor who support Thaksin, ousted in a 2006 coup, and the Bangkok middle classes who despise him…
AFP: Deadly Thai protests will shake economy: industry experts
Violent clashes between police and protesters will send shockwaves through Thailand’s economy, which is already struggling with the global financial crisis and prolonged unrest, industry experts say.
News that two people died and more than 400 were injured during protests outside Bangkok’s parliament on Tuesday could discourage foreign investors, wary since a September 2006 coup overthrew premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
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