Where are we and what's next?
published : 28 Nov 2013 at 08:48
writer: Terry Fredrickson
Here's a quick look at how the protest situation stood this morning and coverage of the day's events as they unfold.
Please join us on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/bangkokpostlearning
Where are they going today? We'll soon find out. PANUMAS SANGUANWONG
Photo by Apichit Jinakul
The Democrats have had the meeting I mentioned earlier in the day and here, from our online reporters, is a brief summary of what they told the press afterwards:
The Democrats will launch a campaign against the government on Friday after the opposition party outlined its decision to join the protests to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and end the influence of her brother Thaksin.
Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said after a party meeting that the Democrats will send members to the rallies and run parallel campaigns to other groups in an attempt to wipe out the Thaksin regime.
The strategy was mapped out in the meeting held shortly after MPs voted in the no-confidence debate against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan on the last day of parliament which will be in recess from Friday. The two easily won the vote in the House of Representatives through the overwhelming number of Pheu Thai members and the coalition parties.
"They won the vote in parliament. But they cannot escape responsibility for their attempt to whitewash wrongdoers which is unacceptable to the public,'' Mr Abhisit told a press conference, referring to the controversial bill to provide a blanket amnesty.
He dismissed speculation that Democrat MPs would resign to fight the government on the streets.
Photos clockwise from upper left from Prasit Tangprasert, Surachai Piraksa, Chaiwat Sardyaem and Pongpat Wongyala.
Once again there were many protests upcountry, but few received much coverage here in Bangkok. Southern protesters were quite active, but there were protests in many provinces outside the region, not all of them anti-government and, where the two sides were on the streets at the same time, some clashes did break out. The most serious was in Patum Thai were three anti-government protesters were reportedly hurt, one seriously. The photo above shows four of today's upcountry rallies. From upper left clockwise they are anti-government rallies in Nakhon Ratchasima, Buriram, Prachuab Khiri Kan and a red-shirt rally in Patum Thani.
A crowd stands outside the well-guarded national police headquarters. Protesters didn't get in, but someone did cut the power supply. NATTAPOL LOWAKIT
What's going on? Pol Maj Gen Piya Uthayo, spokesman for Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO) announced a short time ago that protesters at the national police headquarters had cut off power there. Then, he went a step further and said power was also out at the nearby Police hospital creating serious difficulties for patients there. Journalists quickly checked with hospital officials who denied that was the case. Immediately, the CAPO spokesman started receiving non-stop criticism through the social media. But then more confusion occurred when reports came out the hospital was running on generator power and perhaps Pol Maj Gen Piya was correct after all. Conflicting reports are still coming in. Latest: It's confirmed -- at least by our Post Today news team -- that the power was not cut to the Police Hospital.
There will be no House dissolution. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has just gone on national television to say her government can and will govern. Government services may be somewhat curtailed because of the demonstrations at state agencies but she is confident civil servants will do their best no matter what their political beliefs are. She appealed to the protesters to halt their actions against the state. She rejected rally leader Suthep Thuagsuban's call for a people's assembly, saying it was not possible under the current constitution, but she did welcome talks to try to heal some of the divisions between the opposing sides.
Flowers accepted, but no whistle-blowing at the Ministry of Defence. SEKSAN ROJAMETAKUL
The protest groups from Ratchadamnoen have reached their two targeted ministries. Military commanders at the Ministry of Defence were happy to receive the roses offered to them, but they politely and understandably declined to blow the whistles rally leaders try to give them. That would have been seen by some as a sign of support for the anti-government protests. The rally leaders did not pressure the commanders in any way.
The Education Minstry is not an easy place to enter these days. PANUMAS SANGUANWONG
At the Ministry of Education, the reception was quite different. Being in a highly sensitive area near Government House and near the Ratchadamneon protest site, it is heavily defended and access is quite difficult. As of a few minutes ago, no ministry officials had come out to meet the rally leaders who vowed to stay until they do.
Latest: Reports have just come in that a third march, this one to national police headquarters, has begun.
This could be interesting. Our online reporters say Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva will chair an urgent meeting of his party's executive committee and MPs this afternoon.
It is thought the meeting will discuss what the party should do in light of ongoing political protests.
Some MPs have reportedly proposed that Democrat Party MPs resign en masse to join street protests against the so-called 'Thaksin regime', led by former Democrat MP Suthep Thaugsuban. But others within party ranks disagree, claiming that a mass resignation would actually put the current government in a more advantageous position.
Boonyod Sukthinthai, a party list MP, said he expected the party to argue over how to address the situation, particularly over the issue of whether MPs should resign.
Protesters at Ratchadamnoen are leaving for two sites, the nearby Education Ministry and the Defence Ministry. Protest leaders tell the protesters to get their "weapons" (whistles) ready. Meanwhile, it sounds like it is going to be a day of rest for the group at the Government Complex at Chaengwattana.
Cabinet ministers congratulate PM Yingluck after the no-confidence vote. CHANAT KATANYU
As expected Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has easily survived the Democrat's no-confidence motion in parliament with 297 MPs voting in her favour and 134 against. Interior Minister Jarupong Ruangsuwan did almost as well, keeping his position by a margin of 296 - 135. With the no-confidence vote out of the way, the Prime Minister is free to dissolve parliament, but she has insisted she will not do that.
Early morning story:
It is anyone's guess what will happen to day. Before we start following today's events, let's look at where we are now with this story from this morning's Bangkok Post.
Invasions spread as govt digs in
Anti-government protests are escalating as attempts to occupy state offices intensify.
It is unclear, however, how the deadlock will end since both sides seem to have their backs to the wall.
The struggle between the Yingluck Shinawatra administration and anti-government protesters led by ex-Democrat MP Suthep Thaugsuban will likely take some time as both sides accuse each other of "illegitimacy".
Mr Suthep insists the Yingluck government is unlawful since it rejected the Constitution Court's ruling on the charter amendment draft.
Rally leader Suthep Thuagsuban waves to supporters at the Government Complex in Chaengwattana last night. WEERAWONG WONGPREEDEE
The government says Mr Suthep's decision to seize state offices has breached the peace and is akin to overthrowing democracy.
Both sides have accused each other of treason. As a result, the confrontation seems to have turned into a stand-off because whoever loses could face serious criminal charges.
Ms Yingluck earlier insisted she will not step down or dissolve the House of Representatives.
"I don't understand. There is no 'Thaksin regime', only democracy," Ms Yingluck said yesterday. With the reference to the "Thaksin regime", Ms Yingluck was responding to Mr Suthep and anti-government protesters' allegations about the influence of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra over her government.
She called on protesters to bring their demands to the negotiating table.
The government is making an all-out effort to avoid any violence. The government's ally – the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship – is limiting its moves to avoid confrontation.
"Thaksin has asked Pheu Thai members to fight to maintain the government's power," said a source close to the Pheu Thai Party's strategic team.
"The MPs have been told to mobilise red shirts to help, otherwise all our efforts will go to waste.
"The power must be maintained or the Shinawatra family can't stay in this country."
The source said the Pheu Thai Party and the government are confident they can stay in power because the protest groups are "still doing nothing", despite the mass mobilisation of demonstrators last Sunday.
The large crowd on Ratchadamnoen Avenue on Sunday forced the protest leaders to escalate their moves.
Witthaya Kaewparadai, former Democrat MP for Nakhon Si Thammarat, said it was necessary for protest leaders to intensify the rally.
He said people were frustrated that the government, despite losing its legitimacy, refused to bow to the pressure.
"We realise that the fight will be protracted and we haven't thought about it ending. Thaksin will fight as hard as he can too because his entire family is at stake," Mr Witthaya said.
Mr Suthep insisted he would not negotiate with the government, adding that if his deadline to topple the government by the end of this month could not be met, it would be extended.
Attention is likely to shift to the National Anti-Corruption Commission, which is wrapping up alleged corruption cases against Ms Yingluck and the government regarding the 350-billion-baht water management and the rice-pledging schemes.
The protesters yesterday rallied at 10 government agencies and encouraged civil servants to stop working for the Pheu Thai-led government. The agencies are Commerce, Culture, Energy, Industry, Labour, Natural Resources and Environment, Public Health, Social Development and Human Security, Science and Technology ministries and the Department of Special Investigation (DSI).
Civil servants waved national flags and cheered to show their support for the protest, which went smoothly without any clashes between demonstrators and security officers.
They also gained support from the State Enterprises Workers' Relation Confederation, that announced yesterday that members of 43 labour unions have agreed to take leave today and tomorrow to join the anti-government protests.
The State Railway of Thailand and the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority's labour unions refused to join the campaign.
Protesters in many provinces also besieged provincial halls yesterday as requested by Mr Suthep.
Learn from listening
- access: the ability to enter a building or place - การเข้าสู่
- address: to deal with a problem - จัดการปัญหา
- administration: government - รัฐบาล
- advantageous (adj.): likely to make someone or something more successful; good or useful in a particular situation - ได้ประโยชน์, เป็นประโยชน์, เป็นคุณ
- akin to (verb): similar to, related to - เหมือนกัน, คล้ายกัน
- all-out: complete; involving all of someone’s energy, strength, and determination - อย่างเต็มที่, ไม่มีเหลือไว้เลย, ทั้งหมด
- allegation: an accusation; a statement that someone has done something wrong or illegal even though this has not been proved - ข้อกล่าวหา
- alleged: claimed to be true, even though this has not yet been proved - ที่กล่าวหา
- ally (noun): a person, group, organisation or country who helps and supports another person, group, organisation or country - คนกลุ่มหรือประเทศที่อยู่ในกลุ่มเดียวกัน; พันธมิตร
- amendment: a change made to a law or agreement, in this case, to the constitution - การแก้ไขกฎหมาย ในที่นี้หมายถึงการแก้ไขรัฐธรรมนูญ
- amnesty (noun): a situation in which a government agrees not to punish, or to no longer punish, people who have committed a particular crime - การนิรโทษกรรม
- analysis: the detailed study or examination of something in order to understand more about it; the result of the study - การวิเคราะห์
- appeal: to make an urgent request for people to do something or behave in a particular way - ร้องขอ
- appear: to seem - ดูเหมือนจะ, ดูเหมือนว่า
- argue: to give reasons why you think that something is right/wrong, true/not true, etc, especially to persuade people that you are right - ห้เหตุผล, อ้างเหตุผล
- assembly: a group of people who have been elected or chosen in order to discuss issues and make decisions - สภา, สมัชชา
- at stake: able to be gained or lost - เสี่ยงเป็นเสี่ยงตาย
- attention: interest, especially interest that the public has in a person, event, situation etc - ความสนใจ
- avoid: to try to prevent something from happening - หลีกเลี่ยง
- besiege: to surround a place and prevent people or supplies from getting in or out - ห้อมล้อม ล้อมปิด
- bill: a proposal for a law - ร่างกฎหมาย
- blanket: affecting or aimed at everyone or everything equally, even when this is not sensible or fair - ครอบคลุม, กว้าง
- bow to: to agree to do what someone wants you to do even though you do not want to - ยอมทำตาม
- campaign: a series of actions intended to produce political or social change - การรณรงค์
- charge : an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime - ข้อกล่าวหา
- charter: a constitution - รัฐธรรมนูญ
- civil servants: people who work in the government departments responsible for putting central government plans into action - ข้าราชการ
- claim: to say that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - อ้าง
- clash: a brief fight between two or more people - การปะทะกันสองฝ่าย
- coalition party: one of the political parties making up the government - พรรคร่วมรัฐบาล
- commander (noun): the head of large military unit or a crew - ผู้บังคับบัญชา
- complex: an area that has several parts - พื้นที่ประกอบด้วยส่วนต่าง ๆ
- confederation: a group of organisations that are united - การรวมกลุ่มกัน สหภาพ สมาพันธ์
- confident: being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future - มั่นใจ
- conflicting: having serious differences that cannot all be right at the same time - ที่ขัดแย้งกัน
- confrontation: a situation in which people or groups are arguing angrily or are fighting - การเผชิญหน้า
- confusion: a feeling that you do not understand something or cannot decide what to do - ความสับสน
- constitution: the set of laws and basic principles that a country in governed by - รัฐธรรมนูญ
- Constitution Court: the court that decides whether or not laws follow the constitution - ศาลรัฐธรรมนูญ
- controversial: causing disagreement or disapproval - ความไม่ลงรอยกัน
- coverage: the reporting of news and sport in newspapers and on the radio, television or social media - การรายงานข่าว
- curtail: to reduce or limit something - จำกัด, ลด
- deadline: a time or day by which something must be done - เส้นตาย
- deadlock: a situation in which neither person or group involved in a disagreement is willing to change their opinions or positions - หมดหนทาง ไม่มีทางแก้
- decline (verb): to say politely that you will not accept something, do something, or say something - ปฏิเสธ, ปฏิเสธที่จะทำ
- defend: to protect somebody/something from attack - ป้องกัน,ต้าน,พิทักษ์
- demand: a very firm request for something - ข้อเรียกร้อง, การเรียกร้อง
- demonstrators: people who march with other people in public to show that they support or oppose something - ผู้ชุมนุมประท้วง
- Department of Special Investigation: DSI; a police department investigating serious crimes involving influential people, organised crime, or crimes using highly sophisticated technology - กรมสอบสวนคดีพิเศษ
- dig in (verb): to wait, or deal with a difficult situation, with great patience - อดทนรอ
- dismiss: to refuse to accept that something might be true or important - ไม่สนใจ,แย้งกลับ
- dissolve parliament: to formally end the House of Representatives, usually leading to a general election - ยุบสภา
- dissolve the House: to end a parliament, normally to call a new election - ยุบสภา
- division: a disagreement between people, especially between people who belong to the same group - การแตกร้าว, การแบ่งแยก
- draft: not in a final form and likely to be changed - ร่าง
- en masse: all together as a group - เป็นกลุ่ม,ด้วยกันทั้งหมด
- encourage: to cause someone to want to do something - กระตุ้น ให้การสนับสนุน
- escalate (verb): to make something increase in amount or strength; to make larger; to scale up; to ramp up - ยกระดับ; เสริม
- extend: to add more time - ยืดออกไป
- frustrated: feeling annoyed and impatient because you are prevented from achieving something - ผิดหวัง,ท้อแท้ใจมาก, หงุดหงิดใจ
- generator: a machine that produces electricity - เครื่องกำเนิดไฟฟ้า
- have your back to the wall (idiom): to be in a difficult situation from which it is difficult to escape, often forcing you to stand firm -
- heal: to make people stop fighting and have a better relationship - ทำให้คืนดีกัน
- House dissolution (noun): the ending of the current term of the House of Representations, followed by a new election - การยุบสภา
- illegitimacy (noun): a situation/condition not allowed by a particular set of rules or by law - ความไม่ชอบด้วยกฎหมาย, การทำผิดกฎหมาย
- in light of: as a result of -
- influence: to affect or change how someone or something develops, behaves or thinks - มีอิทธิพลต่อ, ชักจูง อำนาจบังคับ
- insist: to keep saying very firmly that something is true, even when other people will not believe you - ยืนกราน
- intensify: to strengthen - เข้มข้นขึ้น
- invasion: a situation in which a large number of people or things come to a place at the same time, especially in an annoying way - การบุกรุก
- issue: a problem that needs to be considered - ประเด็น
- journalist: a person who writes news stories or articles for a newspaper or magazine or broadcasts them on radio or television - ผู้สื่อข่าว
- labour union: an organisation of workers that aims to improve pay and conditions of work - สหภาพแรงงาน
- launch (verb): to start something - เริ่มต้น, เปิดโครงการ, เริ่มทำ
- limit: to stop something from increasing beyond a particular amount or level - จำกัด
- maintain: to keep - รักษา
- margin (noun): the number of votes by which a decision is made, e.g. an election, a court ruling, etc. - จำนวนคะแนน
- mass: large numbers - จำนวนมาก
- mass transit: involving the movement of large numbers of people, using buses, trains, etc. - การขนส่งมวลชน
- mobilise: to organise a group of people to do something - ระดมกำลัง
- motion: a formal proposal that people discuss and then vote on in a meeting or debate - ญัตติ, ข้อเสนอเพื่อการอภิปรายในที่ประชุม
- National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC): An independent government organisation to investigate corruption carried out by government officials - ปปช. (สำนักคณะกรรมการป้องกันและปราบปรามการทุจริตแห่งชาติ)
- negotiate: to try to reach an agreement by discussing something in a formal way - เจรจาต่อรอง
- no-confidence: believing that someone is unsuitable for a job or not capable of doing it, usually used in parliament during a censure debate - ไม่ไว้วางใจ
- occupy: to be in control of a place that you have entered in a group using force - เข้าครอบครอง
- otherwise: if not; used for saying that if one thing does not happen or is not true, something else will happen, usually something bad - มิฉะนั้น, ไม่เช่นนั้น
- oust: to force to leave a position of power - ขับออกจากอำนาจ
- ousted: forced out of a position of power - ขับออกจากอำนาจ
- overthrow: to force a leader or government out of power - ขับไล่ออกจากอำนาจ
- overwhelming: to be so bad or so great that a person cannot deal with it; to cover somebody/something completely - ท่วมท้น,รุนแรงมาก
- parallel: of an event or situation that happens at the same time as and/or is similar to another one - คล้ายกัน ขนานกัน
- particularly: especially, or more than usual - โดยเฉพาะ
- patient: someone who is receiving medical treatment - คนป่วย, คนไข้
- press: newspapers and magazines, and those parts of television and radio which broadcast news, or reporters and photographers who work for them - สื่อมวลชน
- press conference: an official meeting where someone makes a formal statement about a particular issue or event to journalists and answers their questions about it - การแถลงข่าว
- pressure: a force pressing against you or attempting to defeat you - ความกดดัน
- pressure: to try to make someone do something by forcing, threatening, or persuading them in a determined way - กดดัน
- propose: to suggest an idea for a group to consider - เสนอ
- protester: someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc - ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง
- protracted: lasting for a long time - ที่ยืดเยื้อเป็นเวลานาน
- rally: a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something - การชุมนุม
- ranks (noun): all the people within a group, organization etc; a large group of people with something in common -
- reception: the way in which someone or something is received or welcomed - การต้อนรับ
- recess: a period of time in the year when the members of a lawmaking body or a court are not meeting - ข่วงระหว่างการปิดประชุม, ช่วงระยะเวลาที่ศาลปิด
- reference: mentioning someone or something - การอ้างถึง, การอ้างอิง
- refuse (verb): to say or show that you will not do something; to say or show that you will not do something that someone has asked you to do - ปฏิเสธ
- regime: a government that controls a country, especially in a strict or unfair way - รัฐบาลที่ขึ้นมาปกครองโดยการยึดอำนาจ
- reject: to not accept something - ปฏิเสธ ไม่ยอมรับ
- reluctant: not willing to do something - อย่างไม่เต็มใจ อย่างลังเลใจ
- reportedly: as reported (often used for showing that you are not certain that something you are reporting is true) - ตามที่รายงาน
- resign: to leave a job permanently - ลาออกจากตำแหน่ง
- responsibility: deserving to be blamed for something that has happened - ความรับผิดชอบ
- rice-pledging scheme: a government programme in which farmers sell rice to the government at a particular price, with the right to reclaim the rice if the market price goes higher - โครงการจำนำข้าว
- riot police: police who are trained to deal with violent groups of people - ตำรวจปราบจราจล
- ruling (noun): a judgement; a decision by a court of law - คำตัดสิน คำชี้ขาด
- security officers (noun): people whose job is to keep the peace and prevent the breaking of laws; soldiers; military; security forces; police - กองกำลังรักษาความปลอดภัย, ตำรวจ, ทหาร
- seize: to take control of a place or situation - เข้ายึดพื้นที่
- sensitive: needed to be dealt with very carefully to not cause anger or offence - ที่ละเอียดอ่อน
- shift: to change - เปลี่ยน
- siege: a situation in which a group of people surround a building in order to protest about something or to force the people inside to come out - การเข้าห้อมล้อม
- site: a place where something is located - สถานที่
- social media: the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. - เครือข่ายสังคมออนไลน์
- source: someone who gives information - แหล่งข่าว
- speculation: ideas or discussion about what might happen or has happened or why something has happened without having complete information - การคาดการณ์
- spread: to (cause to) cover, reach or have an effect on a wider or increasing area or number of people - แพร่กระจาย, แพร่กระจายไปทั่ว
- stand-off: a disagreement or fight in which neither side can do anything to win - การทะเลาะวิวาท ความขัดแย้ง
- state agency: a government department that provides a particular service - หน่วยงานรัฐ
- state enterprise: a company or business owned and managed by the government - รัฐวิสาหกิจ
- strategic: carefully planned in order to achieve a particular goal, especially in war, business, or politics - ทางยุทธศาสตร์
- struggle: a difficult fight or an attempt to defeat someone - การต่อสู้เพื่อความอยู่รอด
- survive: to manage to deal with something difficult or unpleasant, in this case, to continue in the same job despite many problems - รอดไปได้
- topple: to force out of power; to cause to fall (also oust, unseat or overthrow) - โค่นอำนาจ
- treason: the crime of trying to destroy your country’s government (also rebellion an attempt to remove a government or leader by force) - การก่อกบฏ
- United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD): the group originally formed to demonstrate against the 2006 coup and which supported the Somchai Wongsawat government against the PAD and which led the fight against the Abhisit government. They are known for wearing red shirts - แนวร่วมประชาธิปไตยต่อต้านเผด็จการแห่งชาติ
- unlawful: against the law - ไม่ชอบด้วยกฎหมาย, ผิดกฎหมาย
- urgent: needing to be dealt with immediately - ที่เร่งด่วน
- violence: physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people - ความรุนแรง, การใช้กำลังทำลาย
- vow: to make a formal and serious promise to do something or to promise what you say is true - สาบาน, ปฏิญาณ
- weapon: an object such as a knife, gun, bomb, etc. that is used for fighting or attacking somebody - อาวุธ
- whistle: a small metal or plastic tube that you blow to make a loud high sound, used to attract attention or as a signal - นกหวีด
- whitewash: to try to stop people from discovering the true facts about something, in order to prevent someone in authority from being criticised - ปกปิดสิ่งไม่ดี
- wipe out: to get rid of or kill off something completely - กำจัดให้หมดไป
- wrap up: to finish - ทำให้เสร็จสิ้น