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Archive for August, 2010

Thailand: A Year of Living Dangerously

Rageh Omaar travels to the scarred city of Bangkok to find out what happened the day the protests ended, and what will happen to Thailand now.

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The Rageh Omaar Report – Thailand: A Year of Living Dangerously

(Video hosted on Youtube.)

fter a violent end to the most recent protests, Thailand, a country of over 60 million people, is facing its worst political crisis in decades. For two months since March of 2010, anti-government protestors, the so-called red shirts, had taken over key parts of downtown Bangkok, demanding for Abhisit Vejjajiva, the country’s current prime minister, to step down, dissolve parliament, and call fresh elections. The sit-ins had paralysed Bangkok and threatened to rock the Thai economy, which is the second largest in Southeast Asia. The red shirts have been calling for Abhisit’s resignation since he came to power in 2009 – after Thaksin Shinawatra, the country’s populist prime minister, was ousted in a bloodless military coup in 2006. In 2008 Thaksin was sentenced in absentia to two years in jail after being found guilty of abuse of power in a land acquisition deal during his time in office. He was charged with corruption, and subsequent governments also fell under fraud charges. Abhisit came to power through a parliamentary vote, rather than a popular vote. And that is the major bone of contention for the red shirts, largely rural and working class people from Thailand’s north and northeast. They are staunch supporters of Thaksin, and feel robbed of their vote ever since he was removed from power.

From: AlJazeera.

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