Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/575/7168

From The Socialist newspaper, 15 April 2009

Thailand: Battles erupt on the streets of Bangkok

Neither party has solution for working and poor people

A TEMPORARY calm has returned to the streets of Bangkok and other cities of Thailand. On 14 April, protest leader Prateep Ungsongtham Hata said: "We held talks among the leaders since last night and have agreed that we will disperse our protesters for a while."

Clare Doyle

For a few days, pitched battles were fought on the streets of Bangkok, with the army using tanks and live ammunition against thousands of red-shirted young protesters. Buses were driven straight at police lines. Buildings, cars and tyres were set on fire. Two deaths and 100 or so serious injuries resulted. The prime minister's car was attacked and armoured cars demobilised by angry crowds.

The aim of the 'Reds' is to oust Abhisit Vejjajiva - the fourth prime minister of Thailand in 15 months - and bring back the multi-billionaire, Thaksin Shinawatra. (Thaksin's government was overthrown by a military coup in 2006).

On 11 April, apparently unhindered, his supporters invaded and occupied the Royal Cliff Beach Hotel in Pattaya, forcing 16 Asian heads of state holding a summit there to leave from the roof by helicopter.

A state of emergency was declared and blue-shirted paramilitaries deployed. Protesters in Bangkok, stormed the Interior Ministry and occupied the area around the government buildings in the centre of the capital. Their party is known as the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship.

Only towards the end of last year it was the yellow-clad supporters of Abhisit who had laid siege to Government House for two months and then invaded and occupied two airports until the government sympathetic to Thaksin was ruled illegal.

That time there had been little or no interference from the army whose leaders sided with the 'yellows'. On 12 December, Abhisit's party - the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) - had 'won over' enough pro-Thaksin parliamentarians to form a government.

Desperation

PAD - based predominantly on the urban middle and some sections of the working class - stood for more and not less involvement of the monarchy and the army in government, with 70% of representatives unelected.

Thaksin's support comes mainly from the vast number of poor farmers in the countryside who benefitted from his populist measures. At the same time, he carried out neo-liberal policies to appease the investors and the business class, which angered workers in the urban areas.

50,000 rallied at the time of the government crisis last year but their leader is still absent in Dubai, having been sentenced to serve two years in jail on 'conflict of interest' charges. Not surprising then is the latest call to his supporters of 12 April: "Now that they have tanks on the streets, it is time for the people to come out in revolution!" After its victory he aims to make a triumphal return.

If the plight of the poverty-stricken people of Thailand was not so tragic, the events of the last few days would appear comical.

In fact, neither of the major parties has a programme of measures to pull the poor out of dire poverty and constant anguish. This is what lies behind the anger and hatred displayed on the streets by predominantly young people, but no party exists to channel it against the ruling elite and the populist billionaire alike.

Thailand, a country that has seen a total of 18 military coups since the 1930s, is an indication of the political turmoil and instability that can be repeated on an even greater scale in other countries in Asia (and elsewhere) as they are hit by the present world economic crisis.

It brings home the grave urgency of building mass parties of workers and poor people and of fighting for a socialist transformation of society, in Asia and internationally.

For background, see article by Ravie Chandran on www.socialistworld.net: Democrat Party’s coalition forms new government - 16 December 2008.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 15 April 2009:

MPs' snouts in the expenses trough


Stop the slaughter of Tamils

Sri Lanka: Stop the war - fight for democratic rights

Stop the war in Sri Lanka: Protest at India House


Socialist Party election campaign

European elections: Why No2EU?


Socialist Party workplace news

Visteon workers angry and determined

National Union of Teachers conference: Battle on workload begins

London Underground: Set a new strike date

Fury at John Lewis' trickery

Preparing to fight probation meltdown


Youth fight for jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs: What next to build the campaign?


Marxist analysis: history

The Spanish Civil War: Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory


Socialist Party editorial

Deceptive denigration of Lindsey strike


Socialist Party campaigns

G20 Summit death: Bring the cops to account

Council manoeuvres in Lewisham hit school children

Parents occupy schools in Glasgow to stop closures

Fast news


International socialist news and analysis

Thailand: Battles erupt on the streets of Bangkok

Moldova: Thousands storm parliament buildings as economic crisis worsens


Sport

Rugby league: In League with big business?


 

Home   |   The Socialist 15 April 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Thailand:

triangleThailand plagued by military junta and downturn

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Thailand after the coup

triangleThailand's government orders bloody crackdown on protesters

triangleThailand in grip of political deadlock

triangleBurma cyclone disaster: Wealth and privilege put before aid

International

International

13/12/17

Israel

Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian conflict

13/12/17

CWI

A world in crisis, ripe for revolution

6/12/17

US

Trump's tax plan: Robin Hood in reverse

6/12/17

Ireland

Irish capitalist state: rotten to the core

6/12/17

Women

Fighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle

22/11/17

US

Trump's tax attacks

22/11/17

Australia

Australia: massive yes vote for marriage equality

21/11/17

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Mugabe gone - but his regime remains in power

15/11/17

Minneapolis

USA: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

10/11/17

Minneapolis

US: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

8/11/17

Sweden

Sweden: 'Revolution2017' success

8/11/17

Spain

Spain: Madrid rally celebrates October revolution

8/11/17

Minneapolis

US: Minneapolis Socialist chimes with voters

8/11/17

Ireland

Ireland: rail workers demand share of 'recovery'

8/11/17

Ireland

Ireland: dangerous ideas for the ruling class

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Dec Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

More ...

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2