Chiang Mai forgets political morass
to party-in the Thai New Year
A slightly soggy Songkran as storms join
in this wonderful traditional festival
Water guns at the ready, these young
revellers join in Chiang Mai’s 2009 Songkran celebrations.
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Mixed feelings and objectives
as Bangkok protests end
Three weeks of demonstrations by UDD supporters ended early last week in an
anticlimactic climb-down and warrants for the arrest of the movement’s leaders.
An arrest warrant was also issued for ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra.
The original aim of the protests, to bring down PM Abhisit Vejjajiva and his
government and force a general election, led to street battles involving weapons
and extreme violence, two deaths of local residents (themselves uninvolved as
protestors), the transference of the riots to Pattaya, causing the cancellation
of the ASEAN finance ministers’ summit, and the somewhat belated involvement of
the military, which finally brought the remaining 2,000 hard-core protestors to
The divisive involvement from afar of ex-PM Thaksin ended with his interview,
shown both on CNN and the BBC’s world services, which contrasted strongly in its
presentation, its inaccuracies and its general air of confusion with a similar
interview given by PM Abhisit.
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