What’s going on with the Thai Protests and the Colors of their Shirts ?
Two of Thailand’s political groups are the Yellow Shirts and the Red Shirts; there is a big split between them in their relations to their support for former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra. The Red Shirts love him, and the Yellow shirts don’t.
Thaksin is a Thai businessman with billions- he’s popular among the poor , but is not liked by the Thai elite. He was Prime Minister in 2001, and won great support for his ” Thaksinomics” policy which helped Thai’s economy and the rural poor. He was ousted from office through a military coup in September of 2006, when he was accused of corruption and a conflict of interest charge.
Thaksin remains in the hearts of the ” Red Shirt” protesters who are very loyal to him. The recent demonstrations are done by the Red Shirts, as they converge and call for new elections in Thailand.
Thaksin has a great influence on Thai politics, and gives his support to his followers. He tells them that he would continue with the political struggle. He says, ” I just want to give them moral support. I’m not instigating, but I want them to fight to get full democracy. We’ve been fighting for many years.”
The Yellow Shirts:
The Yellow Shirts are in favor of the current prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva.
The current Prime Minister says that the Red Shirts have gone too far with their protests. Vejjavjiva states, ” We want a political inclusive reform…but we are not going to let violence and the breaking of laws to be the norm in Thailand.”
As I read the news reports and watch the video feeds about Thailand, I get more perplexed by the situation. I was talking to a friend and told him that I secretly always root for the underdog- in any major political party or any games- basketball, baseball, soccer, etc. I might not even know the players, but I usually find myself rooting for the underdog. In this situation, ( because I am a journalist, I shouldn’t be rooting for any side anyway), I don’t know who to support. I am a bit baffled by both parties. So my friend’s response was, ” There are never two sides to anything. There are hundreds of moving parts. We should focus on outcomes rather than rooting for someone.”
Great point. So we’ll all just have to wait and see what happens, and be informed. Until then, here is the recent video that VOA just received.