Friday, November 28, 2008

State of Emergency...Yawn!

The Prime Minister has yet again interrupted Pae's favorite drama on t.v. to face the nation and call for peace and to refuse the military's and people's demand to step down.

This is really the only way the current political situation here is affecting us at the moment!

Effectively the country is governed by a government in exile at the moment as cabinet members traveled to the northern city of Chiang Mai to have emergency meetings with PM Somchai Wongsawat, who certainly not dare try to come back to Bangkok any time soon.

There were tanks in the streets this morning and armed military at many of the busier subway and bus stations around Bangkok. The Army quickly claimed that the tanks were just a part of a training exercise that just happened to be going on in the area after media interpreted it as a show of force and a prelude to an imminent military coups.

A state of emergency was called last night at 9PM meaning that there is a curfew, people cannot gather in groups of more than 5, and the military has the power to enforce.

A similar curfew was called but not enforced a month or two ago. The PM said "State of emergency, Military...end this!"

The top military general said, "Bite me" and did nothing. So the military is reluctant to enforce the states of emergency declared by the government and the also have, so far, refused to initiate a coups against the current, several month old government.

At the same time as the government may or may not be preparing to end the present crisis by raiding the protest sites with police, gas grenades and machine guns, etc, the protesters who have taken over several international airports here are wielding their sling shots and metal pipes, preparing for what they refer to as a "coming war".

Funny thing is that the government has to be careful and not go overboard with the force, because if they blast some slingshot brandishing protester with a deadly volley of gunfire it looks pretty bad and the country will flip out.

Again images of Tienanmen Square...man v. tank...fill my head.

We were surfing through channels last night, we paused on a station that televises the protest 24/7. With my super duper limited Thai language ability I caught the following words coming from an increasingly angered speaker...

"if...police...government...come here...our people...blood fall out...their homes...F16..."

That's all I caught, but I turned to Pae and asked, "Did dude just say that if the police spill the blood of any of the people here that their homes would be blasted by F16s?"

Pae just smiled.

And I couldn't help but smile myself.

Stay tuned...

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