Saturday 17 March 2018

Thailand has no easy way out of colour wars

Duncan McCargo

The monarchy cannot ultimately bring about reconciliation

Thailand has reached a profound impasse. Previously, street protests have culminated in a violent suppression and a military coup d'etat -- as in October 1976 -- or a direct royal intervention, as in May 1992. Neither of these are easy ways out for the country today.

In the past, military coups have generally been tolerated by many and there has never been sustained grassroots resistance to a coup. The tens of thousands of Red Shirt protesters, mainly supporters of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, are singularly allergic to another coup -- after all, Thaksin was ousted in a coup in 2006 -- and have indicated a determination to resist any army-led putsch.

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