I was in the middle of putting together a post on the craziest bus rides in Burma, when the situation here in Bangkok deteriorated more than it already had.
For those at home, here is the crash course: after protesting since mid-March, the red shirts’ standoff with the Thai government has turned violent. This is not new: April 10th marked the first spate of violence, and there have been several other long nights since then. However, in the last 2 days, swaths of central Bangkok – central, commercial areas – have been turned into war zones: snipers on the roofs, army in the streets, grenades being lobbed about and many injuries and deaths. At this point (late Saturday at 9:15pm), the Erawan Hospital has announced a total of 51 deaths since these protests started in March, which comes close to Black May’s total of 52. As I type this and the booms sound outside, there is no question that the 52 number will be surpassed before this is over.
Earlier this evening, the PM went on television to address the nation. In the last few days, he has been quite silent, and we were all curious to hear what he had to say. His presser, in a nutshell: we cannot back down now, and the only way to continue to move Thailand to normalacy is to finish this operation. This does not bode well for the next few days.
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