Thailand’s evolved Red Shirts Part 4

After the pro Thaksin Pheu Thai Party (PTP) came to power, some Red Shirt leaders were rewarded with positions of power in the Government. It did not take long to see that the original political ideology the Red Shirts had at their beginning had completely morphed into cronyism.

One of the very first things the PTP Government did was to find ways to attack the previous Government for stopping the Red Shirts. They worked at finding ways to apply murder charges for the dispersal of the 2010 Red Shirt riots. So with a pro-Thaksin prosecutor they managed to file murder charges against the Former Prime Minister and his Deputy Prime Minister.

The challenges the Red Shirts face is the action to disburse the unlawful 2010 Red Shirt Riots was both endorsed and authorized by the court. The deaths in the disbursal of the riot came from the Red Shirts firing live ammunition on the military, and the military responded with the same. Those cases are still pending in the court and legal experts say the defendants don’t have much to worry about.

Other than wanting revenge for that incident, some of the Red Shirts were slowly evolving into more radical thinking. Speeches that were aggressive and designed to keep the fire of anger burning in the Red Shirts were heard from a few out spoken Red Shirt leaders who’s mouths have got them in trouble before. Some examples were talks of an impending coup, and other such plots to unseat the Government were frequently heard. The attempts to demonize anyone who was not a Red Shirt was the general focus of those speeches.

By this time Thais that were not associated with the Red Shirts started to notice that there was a certain lack of basic logic in Red Shirt behavior. Many things the Red Shirt leaders were saying had no basis in fact and were created to give a feel of impending conspiracy against the Government. It was pre-loading a thought for what was likely to happen if the Government stepped out of line and ignored the Constitution. It was almost as if the Red Shirts knew the Government was planning to cross the line, and then when the courts stepped in and ruled against the Government it could be seen as a conspiracy.

From 2011 to 2013 the Red Shirts continued to attack anyone who opposed them in the countryside. Politicians from other parties were ejected and sometimes violently. It was clear the Red Shirts were part of a collective effort to keep doubt from polluting the Pro-Thaksin pro Government propaganda they were preaching. Often it would not take much of the truth to blow the Red Shirt’s propaganda out of the water and show it was mostly made up. Because of that it was a priority, and Red Shirt rapid response teams were set up to deal with any such risks of the truth being told. It was not until the last 3 months of 2013 did the farmers start to discover the truth about the Government when the Government started to default on rice pledging payments to the farmers as a result of massive corruption.

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