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Non-violent civil resistance in Thailand: The reading protests

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These are happy Thais -- see the smiles? -- and so they are following the junta's prime directive to be happy Thai people!

Non-violent civil resistance in Bangkok

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Not sure if these are just scattered and isolated incidents, or incredibly brave acts that speak for many. That said, it's always interesting to see Gene Sharp's principles in action. So, from the twitter:

So, four people plus the lookout. I would call this an instance of [#29]: "Symbolic reclamation," on the grounds that what is being reclaimed is public space (as opposed to [#8], which I think refers to publishing material). The reading material varies. 1984 is popular:

Or a more pointed message:

Then there are gestures: Read below the fold...

Thai junta experiments with turning off Facebook (and remedies for that)

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Still plugging away covering a country on the other side of the world. Why? Because the Generals always want to turn off the Internet. They tried it in Egypt, along with cellphones (the reistance moved to flyers); they tried cutting off twitter in Turkey (it failed); and now they've tried it Thailand. Perhaps they may try it here! Of course, in Egypt the United States demanded that Egypt turn the Internet back on, but with what we know, I would bet that the NSA was ticked that it suddenly didn't have an surveillance data. That would probably be the NSA's view on shutting down the Internet in this country, so again, the methods the Thai generals use -- they are very adept at nudging their subjects with a light touch -- will be of interest to the powers that be; managing the Internet is so much more effective than simply turning it off! (And provides plenty of jobs for the boys, too, which the Thai Army knows very well.

So here's a twitter history of the junta's Facebook shutdown; think of the history as providing signs and portents you might want to watch the skies for. (Note that the Thais are heavy duty social media users; IIRC, the Bangkok airport was knocked from its perch at the top of Most Instagrammed Location Worldwide by a humongous Bangkok shopping mall. Social media, for good or ill, meshes well with the sociability and conviviality and sense of fun that are such distinctive features of Thai culture, so it's not at all surprising that Thais got ticked with the junta turned it off. No selfies! And we can back that up with data!

Anyhow, remember hearing the word "junta" a lot in the news when I was a kid; how thoughtful of the Thai Generals to make junta thing once more. Even if some might feel that word a bit heavy-handed. Even if the word is not the heavy handed thing:

First, that was fast! So , why? Read below the fold...

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The Thai military declares a coup...

[On the martial law period: Part 1; part 2; part 3, and part 4; and the night before. --lambert] Read below the fold...

Wealth of Thailand's 40 richest people increased 46% in 2010

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That might explain some of that red shirt/yellow shirt stuff, though, as usual, the politics in Thailand are infinitely complex, compared to the childish variety we practive here.

Hopefully, MsExPat will weigh in with some analysis that's actually informed. Read below the fold...

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Behind the barricades with Seh Daeng's "Black Angels"

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Two Asia Times Online correspondents infiltrated the Red Shirts' Black army, and lived to tell the tale. Read below the fold...

MsExPat's picture

Thailand: More Palace Intrigue

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Very dishy analysis of King Bhumibol's behavior during the coup, and recently, from the Canadian journalist who was his advisor and wrote his biography, William Stevenson:

(via the Toronto Star:) Read below the fold...

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Thaksin Charged With Terrorism

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I guess I was wrong about the Red Shirts cutting a deal for Thaksin's immunity. Or maybe they did, and the government decided to renege. In any case, the arrest warrant's gone out and Thaksin Shinawatra, exiled former PM of Thailand, is now wanted in Thailand on terrorism charges.

Blogger Bangkok Pundit breaks down the indictment, translating the relevant sections of the Thai Criminal Code that Thaksin allegedly violated. Read below the fold...

Thailand roundup

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[Newcomers to Corrente, check out MsExpat's commentary and reporting on Thailand. --lambert]

1. The Thai media must truly be a disaster area, since during the crisis the Thais relied on our media.

Anyhow, Bangkok Pundit was down for three days, and is now up again. With no explanation. Odd that. Or not. Read below the fold...

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Bangkok: The Big Cleanup

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Today, Sunday, thousands of ordinary Bangkok citizen-volunteers have come out to clean up the city. "Bring your own broom" the ads read. It's a non-partisan, local effort, and pretty wonderful. Local journalist Richard Barrow is tweeting it live, with pix. Read below the fold...

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Thai writers deconstruct the Red Shirts' rebellion

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A digest of after-the-flames-have-died-down essays from an assortment of Thais who write in English. I'll update periodically as I run across more goodies and feel free to add anything you find in the comments.

Wassana Nanuam, military affairs columnist, Bangkok Post, on the Generals, the Army and the politics of "Operation Rajaprasong":

The role _ and eventual departure from the scene by assassination _ of Seh Daeng in the victory of the government and army over the red shirt movement cannot be overlooked. Hawkish soldiers are in one voice on how the outcome of the army's Ratchaprasong operation could have been so different had Seh Daeng had not been murdered.

Read below the fold...
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Thailand: One Small Rebellion at a Time

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So far, this is my favorite piece among the "post-Battle of Bangkok" essays. It's from Southeast Asia scholar Duncan McCargo. The reason I think the essay is worth reading is because McCargo is not emotionally trying to defend one side or another. He actually understands Thai culture and history, and is looking at what happened in the context of both.

Some excerpts: Read below the fold...

Thailand: 19 May and after

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Excellent on-the-ground description of "19 May" in Bangkok, via Bangkok Pundit. Note especially, in the complete post, the role played by young men with nothing to lose. The writer concludes: Read below the fold...

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