Sunday, August 20, 2006

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra attacked by mob at King's exhibition

I'm going to side with Thaksin on this one.

The conduct of the Bangkok-ified spontaneous protest mob was totally outrageous. It may sound trivial but stamping on someone's foot repeatedly warrants a trip to the police station. That conduct may be de riguer on the pak soi or their rough little khanom shop in Din Daeng, but who the hell do these people think they are?

Thaksin was badly let down by his bodyguards and mall security, as well as the local police. The Prime Minister of Thailand was verbally and physically attacked for 20 minutes in the middle of a downtown shopping mall and nothing was done about it.

If this can happen to the PM while attending an exhibit in honor of the King, then anything can happen to anybody in this country. It looks like a country of savages who can't handle basic civic responsibility, nevermind full blown democracy. There is no honor in screaming insults at someone from a crowd, or trying to use the monarchy as a shield.

The protestors should have been thrown out immediately, by force if necessary. If they resisted, they should have been cuffed and charged with trespassing and resisting arrest.

Before any nimrods start blathering about freedom of speech, Siam Paragon is a private shopping mall, not the street or other public place. You have no inalienable right to be there. Again: You have no inalienable right to be there. If you harass other patrons or create any sort of disturbance you can and should be removed by mall security.

What's next, fist fights in Parliament a la the Taiwanese or Koreans?

from the Nation:

Thaksin ambushed with protest in Siam Paragon

Caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was ambushed verbal attacks in Siam Paragon by a group of protesters Saturday afternoon, leading a clash between the protesters and his supporters.

The angry prime minister cut short his visit of an exhibition to honour His Majesty the King after some 20 to 30 protesters kept on shouting abuses against him.

Before leaving in his car, Thaksin strongly criticized the protesters as "lacking developed mind" and asked officials to take legal action against them.

The clash and exchange of verbal attacks between the groups of supporters and protesters happened at about 2 pm and lasted about 20 minutes.

The fight came after Thaksin chaired a ceremony to launch books and CDs in memory of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of His Majesty the King's Accession to the Throne in the shopping mall.

While Thaksin was visiting the exhibition, a woman stepped on his foot twice and he asked his bodyguard to watch out against the woman.

"Please check if she is insane or not. She stepped on my foot twice already," Thaksin told his bodyguards. [ed. why were people allowed to get so close to the head of state? I can't think of any country where such cosy proximity would be tolerated.]

While Thaksin was continuing seeing the exhibition, some 20 to 30 people, shouted "Thaksin is bad, Thaksin cheats, Thaksin get out."

The prime minister was seen apparently startled and turned to look at the protesters.

His bodyguards then tried to lead Thaksin to leave the shopping mall, but a group of his supporters charged toward the protesters.

The supporters and Thaksin's bodyguards tried to ask the protesters to stop shouting but they kept on shouting criticism against Thaksin.

At the moment, a university student shouted "You cheat the country" and some three to four supporters charged toward him and hit and kicked him until he fell down. [ed. I guess we're supposed to feel sorry for a guy who joined in heckling someone and got smacked upside the head]

The protesters then helped pulled the student away.

Another woman, who carried her young daughter, also shouted "Thaksin cheats" and she was pushed backed by Thaksin's bodyguard, causing her to nearly fall down. [ed. she's engaging in a protest while cradling her infant daughter? Who is truly the bad person here, this woman or the bodyguard who pushed her away from the prime minister?]

Some observers also shouted "We are Thais. Why did you do this in exhibition to honour His Majesty?" [ed. Let's see, they scream insults at the prime minister and then they blame him for causing a ruckus? I despise this type of cowardly aggression. Bullying and then pretending to be the one bullied.]

The protesters then started retreating and walked away and shouted abuses against from afar. [ed. like soi dogs]

They later walked down the escalator and kept on shouting criticism against Thaksin from a lower floor.

At the same time, Thaksin's supporters shouted back at them and asked the protesters to go home.

The protesters later left the shopping mall and the confusion ended.

While Thaksin was leaving, a group of supporters surrounded him and kept on shouting "Thaksin Fight On" until he reached his car.

The supporters waited there and kept on cheering Thaksin while he was giving interview to reporters.

Before leaving in his car, Thaksin told reporters that the tussle should not have happened during the important exhibition. [ed. he is absolutely right, and it shouldn't have happened at any other time either]

"These people do not have developed mind. They showed what was undemocratic behaviour," Thaksin said.

He said the protesters should have waited until October 15 to express their dislike against him by not voting for him.

The Nation