Daily Archives: May 14, 2010

Gideon Rachman

For many months, the government of Thailand has insisted that it wants to restore order to the streets of Bangkok, without resorting to violence. That attempt has now failed. Blood is being shed as the army attempts to isolate and disperse the “red shirt” demonstrators.

The bloodshed in Bangkok is a throwback to the bad old days of Thai politics. Military coups used to be a fairly regular occurrence in the 1970s and 1980s. Quite often they passed off without many casualties. But as Thailand grew richer and more enmeshed in the global economy, the hope was that the country’s politics would mature and modernise. There would be civilian rule with smooth transitions of power. Today’s events show that Thailand has gone backwards.