living in the ‘Land of Smiles’

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai – Thailand’s gathering storm

Via: Sydney Morning Herald


Former police senior sergeant Pichit Tamoon sips  coffee outside the red-painted headquarters of the city’s red taxis and reveals  plans for the mobilisation of 500,000  red shirt supporters who until now have  largely remained quiet as anti-government protests have crippled Yingluck’s  government and shut down parts of Bangkok ahead of Sunday’s national elections,  which  authorities fear could turn violent.

Pichit, the red shirt co-ordinator for 17 vote-rich provinces, paints a  disturbing scenario that would see northern Thailand’s political separation from  Bangkok and southern provinces and almost certainly stoke further violence in  the country of 64 million people.

”We will not be the ones who will start the war, but if a coup happens, we  will announce that we will fight,” Pichit says.

”Our groups have met and we have developed a plan to defend against an elite  group that is bent on destroying our democratic system,” he says.

Under the plan, Chiang Mai, a former ancient capital among Thailand’s highest  mountains, would become a base for red shirts who would come in en masse from 37  of Thailand’s 76 provinces, Pichit says.

Yingluck, Thailand’s first female  Prime Minister, would evacuate to the city  that is home for her powerful family, including brother Thaksin Shinawatra, the  former billionaire prime minister living in exile who has been the target of an  eight-year campaign to purge him from Thai politics.

From Chiang Mai, 46-year-old Yingluck would be encouraged to keep on  governing as the legitimate rival to whoever takes over in Bangkok.

Under the plan, half of the mobilised red shirts would then descend on  Bangkok to confront anti-government protesters, while the rest would mass in  Chiang Mai.

”If we go to Bangkok, the protesters on the streets now will run away,”  Pichit says.

”We can outnumber them 10 times. Most of them are middle-class people with  money. They will not sacrifice what they have and will run to their homes for  safety,” he says.

Asked if red shirts have weapons, Pichit, a 44-year-old father of two, says  ”they are all prepared, but we cannot talk about it”.


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February 2, 2014 - Posted by | Amazing Thailand! | , , ,

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