November 17, 2009

Working Paper on Human Rights

Please see the new working paper on "Ambivlalent about rights" regarding Thailand at the Southeast Asian Research Centre's working paper series

The paper explores the conditions that give rise to human rights abuses in Thailand.

November 2, 2009

The Long March on Bangkok

Category Fiction: How it all ends.

“The Prime Minister is Back”

Thaksin, under protection of red guards secretly enters Thailand through the Cambodian border and immediately heads to Chiang Mai. After necessary preparations for the long march to Bangkok an SMS alert is sent to the red network, announcing the commencement of the “Prime Minister is Back” convoy. Thaksin appears on red tv calling on supporters to join him.

Surrounded by a gathering throng of supporters the convoy sets off on a tour to the Northeast, in each location gathering thousands more supporters for the million person bus-car-tractor March on Bangkok to bring the government down. Thaksin says at every stop: "They have robbbed me of justice, and you of democracy. But no more. Let them arrest me, but will you let them? Will you save me? Salt of the earth, I am one with you, let us take our country back!"

The government is helpless, neither the police or army are willing to confront the convoy and arrest Thaksin. From town to town to city to city, the old power network is broken up or defects to the red camp. Red dye sells out. By the time the convoy reaches Korat Thaksin announces his alternative Cabinet and calls on the government to resign. It refuses. Newin offers to mediate, to hoots of hysterical laughter, until Thaksin expresses interest in the idea.

The convoy descends on Bangkok and the government dissolves into thin air. PAD goes into hiding until an amnesty is announced. Thailand’s peaceful revolution is over.The following day the new government issues a statement. Flanked by his UDD supporters and Newin, Prime Minister Thaksin announces that the new government will restore the 1997 constitution, committing the government to following the rule of law, and the constitution – “as we always did”.