Anti-government red shirt demonstrators rallied here in Bangkok yesterday to mark the anniversary of the May 19 army crackdown.
The CSM provides some details on the protest and looks ahead to the July 3 elections, noting that moderates will be key:
Thousands of opposition supporters in their trademark red shirts rallied Thursday in the Thai capital to mark the anniversary of a military crackdown on chaotic protests that left 92 dead. The rally was among the largest held in recent months and comes as Thai political parties kick off their campaigns for closely watched parliamentary elections on July 3.
While the red shirts have built a strong base that helps the PTP, analysts say the election may hinge on the mood among nonpartisan voters, as well as local dynamics in constituency contests. A large number of voters have not picked a party, according to recent polls, and may be turned off by the partisan style of color-coded street protests.
Reuters says that “a year on, mystery shrouds Thailand’s deadly unrest”:
A 30-metre (98-ft) corrugated iron wall masks the remnants of a mysterious arson attack a year ago on Southeast Asia’s second-biggest shopping mall, a reminder of Thailand’s struggle to tame a crisis many fear could turn violent again during elections.
The Bangkok Post says 20,000 were in attendance:
Around 20,000 red shirt supporters yesterday attended a gathering at Ratchaprasong intersection to mark the one-year anniversary of the clashes between red shirt protesters and security forces on May 19 last year.
And the FT‘s beyondbrics blog asks, “After Thailand’s elections, what next?”
Elections are supposed to solve political conflicts, not exacerbate them.
Thailand’s bitter divisions are about to be tested at the ballot box, but the real fight for power is likely to take place after the vote rather than before it.
(Image: Bangkok Post.)
The BBC also has a piece featuring Thai journalist Karuna Buakamsri. Worth a look. And here’s an AP story, as well.