In Thailand in an attempt by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) to bring things to a head, they may have inadvertently given Thailand’s Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej ammunition. By breaking into and taking over a government run television station, the PAD has shown lack of better judgment to a bigger audience.
Connecting the Dots has made mention in the past that from time to time the PAD has a laps in better judgment, and this is one of those times.
Quoting the Nation;
Thai and Asian press freedom watchdogs condemn People’s Alliance for Democracy-led protesters’ seizure of a state-run television station on Tuesday.
“The forced closure of Thailand’s National Broadcasting Television (NBT) on 26 August 2008, is unjustifiable and goes against the principles of democracy, free flow of information, and fair play that the protesters themselves have invoked to justify their illegal act,” according to the statement.
There have been some arrests with the accusations weapons were used, however that does not fit the signature of the PAD and more than likely a made up charge by the police. Non the less 80+ people get to spend at least one night in Klong Prem prison otherwise known as the ‘Bangkok Hilton’.
Outside of that one issue that was viewed by many as stepping over the line, the PAD successfully increased the pressure on the Samak lead People Power Party (PPP) and gained some prime real estate being the Government house grounds.
Samak has made the statement that the government’s tolerance was drying up and would take action without saying what it was. He also delegated the task to someone else to deal with it, however Samak is ultimately responsible as it is his watch.
With the PAD peacefully planted on the lawn of the government house, it becomes difficult to do anything to remove them. After all it is a government house for the people. Seeing as there was a court order not to be on the Street as they were disturbing some locals with their public address system, the government house seems to be a better option.
It is uncertain what logic the PAD was using as to how to achieve their goal. With the PAD rally going on 24-7 for months already, the news worthiness of the rally was fading from the front page. However with Tuesday’s events that seems to have been corrected. As the situation is unfolding this is just a snapshot of a moment. Needless to say with the dawn’s sunrise events will have changed.
It took nearly all day to decide if this was worth writing about, and there was a strong desire to just sit back with some popcorn and watch the events unfold. However based on the demographics of who reads this blog, and many do attend the PAD rally, the decision was made to as least call it as it is seen from the sidelines to perhaps cut past the fog of passion.
The feeling is the people that attend the PAD rallies are essentially Patriots in all the best possible terms. They are no less patriotic than Americans fighting off the British around the time of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Sometimes things need to be done that may later reflect a laps in judgment or distasteful. However when defending one’s country from those who would take it either being from domestic or abroad, sometimes sacrifices need be made.
Once the history is known, it does not take a degree to see that Samak’s government is not working for the people and that they are working for Thaksin. To expect a government to work for the people is the essence of democracy. If the government is dysfunctional and can’t do that, the avenue of public protests is an option. Given that the Samak government has every intention of attacking the Constitution for it’s own self serving reasons, the overt actions of the PAD seem more justified.
The machine of democracy is not a sports car that moves quickly to the destination. It is more like a slow moving freight train climbing a steep grade. That slow movement tends to invite attacks from people who would dare rob it. Some how the PAD fits into that picture, perhaps as volunteer security guards fighting off attackers until the train pulls into the next town on the tracks. In that town the train can be serviced and the attackers can be apprehended, but getting there takes time and much damage can occur before then. The PAD simply looks to keep the attackers at bay or throw them from the train until then.
They clearly do this because they love their country and want the best possible lives for their children and generations to follow.
Nice writing style. I look forward to reading more in the future.
Great article.. as always.
When critics say ‘once again Chamlong is leading the people to “Death” station’, I said that is simply a rough – or rather ‘lazy’ – analysis. Theirs (Chamlong & co) was the only train and I boarded. I may or may not live to see the final destination, but I’m praying the attackers will only jump in to loot us occasionally and not pull off the tracks.