Friday, April 10, 2009
Defeat at Victory Monument...
It was a tactical nightmare when the red-shirts decided to "take over" the Victory Monument in the heart of Bangkok Thursday afternoon in an attempt to pressure the Abhisit government to back down.
The location is undoubtedly "strategic" for the protestors. And because of that, it boomeranged. The estimated 100 taxi-drivers who used their vehicles to block traffic around that intersection probably didn't realize that several leading hospitals are located nearby. And once traffic came to a standstill there, hundreds of patients and their relatives were stuck either on their way to see their doctors or heading home.
Old, sick patients on wheelchairs were seen suffering in the heat. Others were forced to walk. Reporters started to interview the stranded patients and their handlers. Doctors were complaining that the vital medical supplies, including oxygen, were running out because of the traffic snarl-ups.
The red-shirted protest leaders apologized, citing "the need to close the roads in order to open up the avenue of democracy." That, however, didn't help matters. The public outcry was deafeanig.
When Premier Abhisit Vejjajiva appeared on TV last night to declare that the protestors were breaking the law and law-enforcement officials would take action, it was clear that the red-shirts were cornerned.
It was just announced that the red-shirts will leave the Victory Monument at 5.00 pm -- and come back sometime after Songkran.
A tactical retreat in the nick of time.
Morals of the story: Never demand democracy by infringing on others' rights.