Samak “Get Out”, Thaksin “Go to Jail”

2 06 2008

Protesters shouted “Samak GET OUT and Thaksin GO TO JAIL” in support of People’s Alliace for Democracy (PAD) which calls for the current Thai Prime Minsiter Samak Sundaravej to step down. Tension between the PM and the PDA rose to a critical degree after the former made an agreesive announcement on television on Saturday morning that the Police and the Military are ready to disperse the crowd at Makkawanrangsan Bridge.

It has been 9 days since PAD has re-started their protest agaist the incumbents. It has been quite a slow start for them. Not many people, especially PAD former supporters, were convinced of the necessity of having a mass demonstration at this time. The government was elected in power fjust 4 months ago and more time is needed for the new cabinet to settle in. Had it not been the PM’s aggressive announcement on Saturday, those silent supporters would have hesitated to join the PAD. They came out in numbers that evening just to show their disagreement with the PM’s wish to crack down the PAD supporters.

Was it necessary to threathen publicly to use force to manage demonstration? Did not those protesters, ordinary citizens who have different views to the government, have the rights to peaceful assembly? Can not we have different opinions and views in Thai democracy?

When I went to observe the situation on Saturday evening around Rachadumnern Road, I noticed the tension between the frontline protesters who confronted the riot police at the back of the stage where the five PAD leaders were making announcement. Tension was real and the PM was fully responsible for it – should any real fighting have broken out.

When we say we went to the PAD demonstration, people would immediately assume that we are one of the supporters – which not ncessarily be the case. There is only little room for people who are against the government, whose main interest is to amend the consitution of 2007 so that Thaksin and the former 111 committee members of Thai Rak Thai can return to politics, but do not necessarily enjoy the agenda being forwarded by the PAD. Why is the government in a hurry to amend the constitution? Should not they care more about people well being? Under current socio-economic sitution, should not the government turn their attention on how to deal with high inflation rate and high prices on consumer goods especially oil price hike. If they are unable to manage these issues well, we will see the departure of Samak in a couple of months and Thaksin then could go to jail, as there will be no one to help and support him – even the grassroot people, the taxi drivers and bus drivers. Perhaps the PAD does not need to protest as the government will fall by not taking care of their people well and by not doing it in time.



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