Saturday, September 19, 2009
3 years later, Thailand is stuck in the mud
Another show-down, another tense day. After all, it's the third anniversary of the Sept 19 coup -- and Thaksin Shinawatr has been writing frantically in his Twitter account about democracy, coups and dictatorship.
The red-shirts are gathering today for a big rally as a show of force. Thaksin has said it would be a peaceful gathering but the large contingents of police and troops at various crucial points -- Govt House, PM's residence, Royal Plaza and Gem Prem's residence in Bangkok and Korat -- underline the anxiety on the part of the Abhisit government.
The army chief -- Gen Anupong Paochinda -- has again emphasized that no matter how today's rally ends, there would absolutely be no coup.
But that doesn't answer the more important question: Where do we go from here?
The parliamentary debate on constitutional amendments ended its two-day session, with the government and opposition as divided as before. The PM says he is ready to dissolve parliament to call a new election once the charter changes are completed..but there aren't any clear signs of when that will materialize.
Thaksin continues to back the red-shirts and opposition Pheau Thai Party to disrupt the government's work. The anti-Thaksin elements in society remain robust and active.
The country is stuck in a dilemma. It can't move backward with another coup. It can't move forward with national reconciliation.
Thailand, three years after the coup, remains stuck in the mud.