Yet another showdown is taking place in the streets of Bangkok. Tense and terse, supporters of rival political factions take their battle to the streets. One hell bent on ousting a Prime Minister, the other strongly resisting it.
The PM’s crime? Being a little too foolhardy in trying to pass an amnesty bill that would allow the return of Thaksin.
From another layman’s perspective, the anecdotal consensus is that the Thais should do the practical thing and allow the country’s economy to grow. Though not the most impressive, Thai GDP has been rising steadily over the years, so perhaps it is not huge reason for concern…yet.
However, the yo-yo political landscape of the country had cost lives, business and put many in fear. 8 people have been killed since the protest last year and seven more injured.
I spoke with a Thai friend, Siriporn, and she laments that these protests have been nothing but frustrating and frightening. “I don’t even feel safe in my homeland anymore, I am not confident this circus will ever end,” she says.
The next leadership of the country needs to urgently calm the country down and expand its economics. It needs to be as neutral as possible. To do this, a fresh slate of leaders is desirable.
The Thaksin figure has polarised the Thai people to such a state that perhaps it is just not possible for any of their major political leaders to continue. Yingluck has done what some call a “responsible move” and stepped down. Maybe every of their political leaders should also, because in a way, all of them have failed to return peace and stability to the country since 2006.
Neither party’s leadership win in elections will quell these tensions.
“We don’t want to see the same old corrupted politicians returning to power over and over again,” said one protester, referring to Pheu Thai Party.
But politicians were returned to power through a democratic process.
Yingluck did call for fresh elections to let the people decide, yet the engines behind these protests clearly have no interest in elections.
As the emotionally charged elections draw closer, it is hard to tell when the situation will cool.There are no signs of of this.
It is not easy to figure out if all this is just beginning, or a beginning of an end.