11
Oct
10

The Uphill Climb for Thailand’s Red Shirts

Despite bringing thousands into the streets, pro-democracy protesters face a bleak future

 

Although the weekend rallies served to raise the Red Shirts’ political profile after they were driven out of Bangkok in disarray in May, there appear to be no prospects for reconciliation. The Reds, who draw their strength from the impoverished rural northeastern region of the country, want political reform and political change.

The Bangkok-based elite are satisfied with the political status quo, especially after their resounding victory in May, and appear determined to preserve it with force. After the military used armored personnel carriers, assault rifles and other weapons to crush the Reds, the armed forces have enjoyed a powerful position, with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva dependent upon their support for his political survival. The military budget has almost doubled since the 2006 coup, to Bt154 billion (US$5.1 billion).

Source: (http://goo.gl/1ZhkAsia Sentinel – Written by Richard S. Ehrlich

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