Perhaps ebbing is the wrong word to describe the Red Shirt movement in Thailand. But most certainly there has been some subtle changes over the past 2 months that suggest some psychological tipping points have been reached.
This will be a bit of a tally sheet entry as each item has had some sort of psychological effect. For the most part the Red Shirt leadership has been trying to ignore it simply because it does tend to take the wind out of their sails because it clearly points to them as the cause.
In no particular order, we have the Bangkok Bomber. Once Darwin caught up to him and he blew himself to bits and pieces, the Bombings in Bangkok stopped. That is excluding the school rivalry bombings and violence. Seeing that he was quickly connected to the Red Shirts, any more bombs from other potential bombers would amount to having sex with the curtains open as everyone will be watching the Reds in action.
The next point is the amount of time to the next election. It is now measured in months and not years. So the effort expended for violence has less of a reward. There are clear signs that early politics is underway, and may be in violation of election laws as there is a clear start date. But who ever heard of the pro Thaksin people paying attention to laws anyway.
The next item in the list is the partial report on who shot who during the Red Shirt uprising. Seeing that the Men in Black are clearly tied to several murders, it is all about denial and change the topic now, when before it was all about blaming Abhisit and his government for doing what they were forced to do.
Even the You Tube court issue is having a negative effect on the Red Shirts and the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) simply because it seems this was all clearly set up and not some disgruntle employee. However that is not to say the subjects of the You Tube are playing innocent either. There clearly is no purity anyplace in Thailand, so don’t waist a lot of time looking for it. But this comes back to Darwin again, in that doing a dance inside the mouth of something that can make a meal out of you is foolish at best.
So as it looks to be, there still will be the opportunistic attacks and the assassination attempts are very real, but for the most part it seems just noise to keep the fire burning and not let reconciliation take hold. After all it took several years to drive things apart this far, so the desire to bring closure is not in the game plan just yet.
But as the division in Thailand is a double edge sword, it either means Reds in power and yellow in the streets, or yellow in power and Reds in the streets. So closing the gap is for now in everyone’s political interest to some extent, but for different reasons.