protesters shutting down the main airports put the hurt on the tourist industry.
Currently, it's expected that GDP for this year will be cut two percent because
of the airport shut down. Additional action by the protesters will make it
worse. There may also be long term tourist losses, as many of the stranded tourists
were not too happy at how they were treated, and will pass that attitude on to
others when they get home.
The battle between the educated urban
royalists, who wanted to overthrow the populist politicians that had attracted
the support of the majority of voters, most of them poor, less educated, rural
people, resulted in getting the prime minister out of power, but failed to
overthrow the popularly elected government. The urbanites believe these
populist politicians are corrupt (which some are, but that is common in all
Thai political parties) and not fit to rule, even if they got the most votes,
and seats in parliament. The military, whose officers largely sided with the
anti-government demonstrators, does not want to run the country again, because
most Thais oppose military governments. A bloody civil war was avoided, for the
moment. But the urban elitists still believe they should rule, and not leaders
elected by the majority of Thais. There may be new elections, but given
political attitudes throughout the country, voting patterns are not likely to
change. Either the urban elitists accept democracy, or the country is going have
to go on flirting with civil war. This time around, the protesters managed to
do some major damage to the economy, which is already hurting from the global
In the Moslem south, bombs and gunfire
have left nine dead. Violence in the south has been declining, but it returns
in spurts as the remaining Islamic terrorists carry out attacks.
December 2, 2008: The constitutional
court (created by the last military government to deal with politicians the
military does not like) declared that the prime minister, and 59 of his
political allies, had committed vote fraud in last years elections, and banned
all sixty from politics for five years. While this left the ruling party in
power, it got rid of prime minister Somchai. The protesters declared a victory
and agreed to go home.
November 29, 2008: The prime minister
fired the head of the national police for refusing to clear protesters from the
two major airports outside the capital. The army also refuses to do the job.
The hundreds of thousands of stranded air travelers are being moved to a
military airport where chartered passenger jets will begin to fly the
Around midnight, someone threw a grenade
into a crowd of anti-government protesters in the capital, wounding nearly
fifty people. Some protesters are attacking police roadblocks.
November 27, 2008: The government sent the
national police to the airports with orders to clear away the protesters. The
police failed to clear out the protesters, but simply surrounded the airports
and tried to limit vandalism.