Chris and I witnessed something rather amazing today completely by accident. We met for a coffee at lunch time in Time Square (our nearest shopping mall) and were a bit baffled when the street suddenly went very quiet (those of you that have visited will know that Bangkok is never quiet!!), the traffic stopped and then we heard an odd noise. It was very faint at first.....then it slowly built.....and built.....We went outside to see what was going on. There was literally a sea of people all dressed in yellow marching down Sukhumvit road....every single one of them clapping in unison....the atmosphere was electric and the noise was just incredible. I have never experienced anything like it and probably never will again. We knew that there was to be a large PAD demonstration today, we got a warning from the Embassy telling us to stay away from Siam Paragon and the British Embassy, but we didn't expect it to go right past us!! (PAD stands for People's Alliance for Democracy who claim that the current Government the People's Power Party, or PPP for short, are just a proxy government for ex PM Thaksin Shinawatra)
The political situation is still incredibly unstable here (You can read the overview here (just scroll past the knitting bit), and then what happened next here and here if you are interested) . The last time I blogged about it was when PM Mr Samak was forced to step down following a judges decision that he had violated the constitution. Well the current Government's reaction to that was to appoint a new PM and who did they appoint....none other than Ex PM Thaksin's brother-in-law Somchai Wongsawat (that's him on the right). You can imagine how well that went down with the PAD....fuel to fire!! Soooo, things are still very messy - the PAD are refusing to leave Government House despite having had tear gas and grenades lobbed at them and the country is still deeply divided into two camps....pro Thaksin and anti Thaksin.
The reason for the protest today - Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife have been living in the UK since August, when they fled Thailand - They have both been found guilty of corruption charges and have been sentenced to jail terms. The demonstration today outside the British Embassy was for Thaksin and his wife to be extradited from the UK.