NYT on the crackdown in Bangkok
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NYT on the crackdown in Bangkok

What was a blockdate by the government has now become a crackdown. The first is this blog post from May 14 (US Time) from a NYT blog with plenty of links to various video. It is worth a look given the variety of videos assembled in the one place.

Thomas Fuller and Seth Mydans in the NYT on Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s speech to the nation last night notes:

The Thai government struck an aggressive tone on Saturday, saying it would continue its efforts to cut antigovernment protesters off from the rest of the city despite a rising death toll and determined resistance from the demonstrators.
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/>Among the casualties of three days of clashes was an emergency medical technician who was riding a motorcycle when he was fatally wounded and four journalists, all of whom were wounded but survived.
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/>Because of the fear of snipers, a photographer said, two dead or wounded victims lay for a long period in a street unattended. The military was not allowing ambulances to pass a roadblock, the photographer said, which meant that rescue workers had to run at a crouch with stretchers to carry out the victims.
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/>The violence occurring today is likely to harden divisions between the country’s poor majority, which forms the base of the red-shirt protests, and its elite establishment, which feels threatened and discomfited by the long occupation of the city’s upscale commercial center.
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/>Underlying the protests is a rising awareness among the poor of their rights and a demand for a greater share in the country’s wealth and political voice.

Finally, Thomas Fuller has a personal account of covering the crackdown. He ends with:

But the thought occurs to me: How many more bullets will fly through the Bangkok sky before Thailand’s democracy reaches a level of maturity equal to the modernity and grandeur of its capital city?

BP: The problem for Abhisit is that as of now there are around 24 deaths and more than 180 injured and the vast majority of those are civilians. Very few injuries among soldiers and the police have been reported. Given the government has the TV channels to itself during the CRES announcements, if there were large number of injuries among the soldiers we would hear and see it (instead the government-run NBT is just showing video of injured soldiers and stirring music from April 10). This is with the government not actually confronting the protesters inside the protest zone. If the government did the death toll would very likely increase dramatically. The photos and videos will get out to those in the rural areas – this is not the 70s – and then the violence could spread to the North and the Northeast.