25 January 2014
The Thai Government has imposed a state of emergency in Bangkok and its immediate surroundings for 60 days to end the demonstrations and blockade of the city aimed at bringing down Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. A veteran political observer in Bangkok analyses the historical and cultural factors underlying the protests and discusses a possible solution to the imbroglio through the Thai Middle Way.
Deposed former prime minister police lieutenant colonel Thaksin Shinawatra brought something new to Thailand. It is what is preventing a peaceful settlement of the conflict now raging in Bangkok’s streets, and it is not his political opening to the rural underclass as the press and public commentary superficially explain.
News coverage and editorial comment in the world press are both devoting increasing attention to the current conflict, now headed for a 2 February election which the main opposition party will boycott. Local Bangkok press and public personalities are vigorously critical of much international coverage as ignorant and distorted by the obsessions and political histories of completely different cultures.
RSIS / Online
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