Political Tension on the Streets of Bangkok

There is no current end in sight to the protest going on in Bangkok. The political tension in Bangkok has been on the constant rise since we been here. The situation really began to escalate about a month ago when former Representative Suthep resigned from his position to help lead rallies against the prime minister Yingluck. Over the past month the group known as the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) has held massive protest across Bangkok at governmental locations, while using the the Democracy Monument as their main rally point. Their goal is to rid the country of the corruption from, what they call, “the Thaksin regime”. Their demands included the resignation of Yingluck as prime minister and that the House be completely dissolved. Thaksin is not only a former Prime Minister, but is also the current Prime Minister, Yingluck’s, brother. He now lives in self imposed exile to avoid arrest because of embezzlement charges and a list of things against him. Many of Thailand’s political issues boil down to people fighting for or against Thaksin’s return to Thailand.

On Monday December 9th Suthep finally got what he asked for when Yingluck announced that the House would be dissolved. But that wasn’t enough, later that day thousands of Thais hit the Bangkok streets to meet at the Democracy Monument. After a small break from protesting over the Holidays the PDRC is making plans to relaunch their protest efforts with new resolve. They plan to seize Bangkok, and shutdown the city starting on January 13th. Sutep has announced 20 strategic intersections across Bangkok as rally points to “paralyze” the city as a final effort to oust Yingluck.

Some protestors wear masks from the movie, V for Vendetta.

Some protestors wear masks from the movie, V for Vendetta.

For the most part the protest have been peaceful. Those known as the Red Shirts show their continued support to Yingluck and Thaksin and have a history of being more aggressive. Unfortunately there have been a few recent clashes between the Red Shirts and the PDRC where several people were injured and a few even died. These incidents have been very few and far between. Protest leaders continue to promote peaceful conduct and the Thai police have been present at demonstrations in the case that violence does breakout.

Protestors having a good time on their march!

Protestors having a good time on their march!

Timeline of next week's political events by Bangkok Post © Post Publishing PCL.

Timeline of next week’s political events by Bangkok Post © Post Publishing PCL.

We personally are still doing fine and haven’t felt any sense of danger. Most of the protest resemble holiday parades, and street parties more than what we as American might think of as political street demonstrations. Nonetheless, we’re keeping a close watch on the news to stay safe and informed. We’ve heard this next week may become more serious. So please keep the nation of Thailand in your prayers. Pray that people remain safe during the coming weeks and that hearts are opened to the gospel of peace, the only true force that can heal this land.

Bangkok has two major English newspapers where you can read more about the political situation:

The Bangkok Post (www.bangkokpost.com) and The Nation (www.nationmultimedia.com). 

One Response to Political Tension on the Streets of Bangkok

  1. Steve Burns says:

    Praying that things remain peaceful and that you continue to be safe! Thanks for the update!

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