BANGKOK: PROTEST, VIOLENCE AND CHAOS
A lot has happened in Bangkok since Saturday 10th April, a day that will be a defining one for the future political landscape.
The political ball remains in play. High in the air, the demands, accusations, recriminations and growing hatred will rain down. Both sides are scrambling in this environment, seeking to press home an advantage.
I don't see a space where either side—the government or the Red shirts—will be willing to back down. Each side has far too much at stake, too much to lose. Creditability is the new English word on the streets. What leaders are credible after Saturday? How will they make a case for their constituents, the other side, and the international community? The large number of photographs and video footage on the Internet has made it difficult to spin the facts. Though videos and photographs are open to interpretation and one can be certain each side will have footage to support their claims.
Stalemates ultimately breakdown when one side admits defeat. That point hasn't been reached. And stalemates can last a long time. The violence on Saturday, as bad as it was, has not been decisive. Both sides claim the other was the cause. So, at the moment, the politics has become a zero sum game.
That is very unThai. Compromise and negotiations have, in past, prevailed as the working model. That isn't happening, at least not at the moment. Too much blood was spilled. The mood on Monday can be defined as: bellicose, ugly with the machinery of hatred and vilification saturating the political space like a mutating virus.
Where will the situation and players go next? It is uncharted territory. Frankly no one can predict in the fog of emotions when sanity and rationality will return. You will need a fortuneteller to find an answer to that question.
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