Thailand’s Red Shirt protesters who mainly consist of the poor have been seen to strongly throw their support behind their deposed and convicted PM, Thaksin.
Outside of Thailand, we only receive news as how it’s presented on the screens on our television. The news only serve to report the brutality of how the army and police are seen to be battling the Red Shirts but this is far from the truth.
As much as we know, the poor support for Thaksin is because of his policies which have benefited the poor and have alleviated their ability to have a better life, or is it?
True to the fact that Thaksin’s policies have by and far benefited the poor but those same policies which made him popular was also a diversion from his corrupt business dealings which have created more wealth for himself than it has for the poor. He’s a smart businessman, whilst systems were created to benefit the people, these systems should also benefit him indirectly, monetarily. A conflict of interest in short.
The poor pay gratitude to Thaksin for helping them pay off their debts and how best to show gratitude to your beloved deposed PM than to be protesting against the government and justice system that have found him guilty of corruption. Such protests could not be possible though without a little bit of brainwash work from the protest leaders who receive funding from Thaksin’s billions to wage this campaign.
The poor, duped and brainwashed by the lure of money to Bangkok, gets brainwashed even more the moment they arrive at Bangkok when the protest leaders call on their support to Thaksin. Those Red Shirts don’t come for free. At a cost of 250 Baht, that coveted Red Shirt is yours and the funding for the campaign receives additional monetary support it needs. The poor, having spent such money wouldn’t want to have wasted money for nothing and thus, joins in the anti-government campaign without understanding what democracy and the intentions of the terrorist is.
This campaign has no doubt resulted in bigger losses than when it first began. Taxi and tuk-tuk drivers stop working to join the demonstrations. They believe that losing 400 baht a day is worth the cause but they forget that the campaign does not last for a day, the campaign lasts for days.
The poor forget to weigh the economic opportunity cost they might stand to gain when they work instead of protesting. Tourists stop coming and that’s a bigger loss for Thailand, especially when Bangkok is a city where foreigners love to travel to despite the traffic conditions.
How much longer can they last?
As long as the money stops flowing in and the sooner the poor realize that they are wasting their time and lives by fighting the cause of a terrorist, the sooner the campaign will end.
What about the ‘watermelon’ police and army?
The Army and Police officers labeled as ‘watermelons’ are simply individuals who do not have the heart to use force to push these poor and uneducated home. They simply take pity on them but no doubt, there will be other officers who have the capacity to push them home.
I’m not sure if this lady is still alive but she produced this video.