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By Reporters Without Borders |
<p>Reporters Without Borders condemns the closure of a dozen community radio stations linked to the opposition &ldquo;Red Shirts&rdquo; in a major police operation yesterday in Bangkok and the surrounding provinces. An exact list of the radio stations raided by the police is not yet available.</p>
<p>On 26 April, 13 red-shirt community radio stations in Bangkok and surrounding areas were raided and searched by the authorities.</p>
<p>Red Shirt lawyer held a one-person dialogue in Kuala Lumpur after cancellation of an event to be hosted by Amnesty International Malaysia after advice from the Amnesty International Secretariat.</p>
By Jim Taylor |
<p class="rtecenter">&ldquo;Can you see the moon? Can you see it seen...&rdquo;<br /> (Playwright) Gertrude Stein, <em>A Circular Play</em></p> <p>The lack of ethical, balanced and objective reporting by certain Bangkok-based foreign and Thai journalists1 is a continuing dilemma for the pro-democracy movement since post-2006 coup. INGOs are not much better (e.g. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and now the International Crisis Group [ICG]). Indeed ICG Update Briefing Report (No.121, 11 April 2011) entitled &ldquo;<a href=""><em>Thailand: The calm before the storm</em></a>&rdquo; makes many errors and false assumptions that it seems to me that researchers are not keeping their ears close to the real ground.</p>
<p>Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij has written a short note on his <a href="">Facebook page</a> about his conversation with a red-shirt taxi driver.</p>
<p>On 3 April, hundreds of red shirts attended the funeral of Therdsak Fungklinchan who had been killed during a clash with the military at Khok Wua intersection on 10 April last year.</p>
By Jim Taylor |
<p>Accepting the <em>status quo</em>, while at the same time claiming to fight against it, comes with some contradictions for UDD/Phue Thai Party. This will not appease all factions of the red shirts. Despite rhetoric of resistance and lots of emotive and expressive language at mass gatherings, there is little indication of a combined longer term vision or even of an ideology on which to achieve democracy. Neither has there been any intellectual discussion about what form that &ldquo;democracy&rdquo; should take, other than an assumption that it must come from the ballot box; that it must be built on the aspirations of the majority electorate. But an election under the current &ldquo;rules of the game&rdquo; established post 19 September 2006 can at best only be a means of redistributing political and economic benefits and in establishing new power sharing arrangements.</p>
By Pravit Rojanaphruk, The Nation |
<p>Most red shirts still oppose congress headed by Prawase and Anand despite claim of 'transcending political divide'<br /> The three-day National Reform Congress concluded yesterday with its chairman Prawase Wasi boasting that the meeting, which drew some 2,000 participants, &quot;transcended&quot; political division and &quot;united&quot; people from all walks.</p>
<p>On 11 Mar, two men hung banners blaming the red shirts for burning the country at a pedestrian bridge at Bon Kai on Rama IV Rd, an area where the military had a long standoff with red-shirt protesters about a year ago.</p>
By Jim Taylor |
<p>The case of Khun &ldquo;Pla&rdquo; (ปลา), a freelance media writer, arrested by police handing out information on 112 at the UDD rally on Saturday needs to be highlighted, not for the case itself (though that is important) but the <em>manner </em>in which she was arrested. Depressingly, she was handed over to the police by seven rude UDD guards (three were actually police hired as UDD guards) who then took her to the police station between 6-7 hours until after the demonstration finished and then released.</p>
<p>A red-shirt woman was seized and taken to the police by guards of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship during the rally on Saturday when she was distributing leaflets containing information about Article 112, or the l&egrave;se majest&eacute; law, and royal assets.</p>
By Jim Taylor |
<p>It appears that most so-called &ldquo;softer head&rdquo; (หัวอ่อน) hard-core leaders on the run since last year are returning back home accepting a new compact with the amaat regime which they took a stand against since events following 19 September 2006. This compact was enabled through the &ldquo;electoral&rdquo; UDD group, involving no doubt some interesting conversations with various stakeholders both at home and, importantly, abroad, and of course certain higher powers.</p>