Anti-government protests in Thailand have entered their second week and demonstrations are spreading beyond the capital to smaller cities and even small islands. I have been following updates on the internet, not via the mass media, on the demonstrations protests, and have received a few mails from friends who are travelling to Thailand soon about the situation, so here is what I have picked up so far.
The opposition rally kicked off a new round of peaceful protests on January 13, and once more, minibuses full of supporters headed up to Bangkok to show their support. There are a lot of people from Ko Lanta, the small island where I live, who have left their businesses in the middle of their busiest period, to stand on the streets of central Bangkok and show their opposition to the government.
As far as I can follow, the protests are confined to a few specific areas near the government buildings and central commercial areas. The airport and transport services into and out of Bangkok are undisrupted and look likely to stay that way. Cannot say the same for shopping trips to MBK though.
To top it all off, the good people of Ko Lanta have taken to the streets today. About 80 people are blocking the entrance to the Obotor – the local governor’s office – whistle and waving Thai flags just like their compatriots in Bangkok. This really is a grass roots movement and it is great to see it happening in Ko Lanta. Many of those out there have businesses on the island, that will suffer if tourists do not come to the country, but it looks like they are seeing something more important here. There is a longer term struggle at hand to kick corruption out of the country, to give the country back to the people and restore balance which has been upset by a corrupt administration.
Thai people want PM Yingluck Shinawatra to leave office and leave the country, taking the influence of her exiled brother, Thaksin Shinawatra with her.
This is a passionate debate, so passionate that I have almost got into a scrap with a stranger on Facebook because of it. Now that really does go against my principles.