Monday, December 1, 2008

Thailand update 01/12/08

Things are moving slowly in Thailand, and it seems things are looking brighter for the government. As I said Friday, I think the protesters overplayed their hand by occupying the airport; they lost the support of the business community by effectively strangulating the economy. The police has been blockading the protesters at the airport by occupying checkpoints, but they have not dared to forcibly remove the protesters. The government probably fears that if there is blood while they remove the protesters, the army will use this as an excuse to take the side of PAD. So they attempt to deal with the situation as smoothly as possible. The army has refused to get involved up until now, even though it is well known that they support PAD.

The protesters are still occupying the two airports but they are leaving government offices they had taken months ago to concentrate on the airports, which is a sign that they are stretched thin. They have struck a deal with the government to allow some flights and also alternative airports are being used all over Thailand; so people can fly in and out now. But the image of Thailand is taking a hit and every day that the airport protests continue, more tourists will cancel their trip or go elsewhere; so the business community will probably be forced to side with the government even if they do not like them. The protesters last chance is to force the hand of the army to get involved and they will do so by attempting to play martyr.

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