#Bangkok : ” United Front Democracy against `Dictatorship’ supporting `Yingluck Shinawatra’ promise crackdown on Protesters”

#AceWorldNews says that recent reports of Leaders of the pro-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), who support Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, promised “to get tough” with anti-government protesters who have paralyzed parts of Bangkok.

“This fight will be harder than any other.You must think how we can deal with Suthep [Thaugsuban, anti-government leader] and those supporting him,” said Jatuporn Prompan, a UDD leader and senior member of the ruling Puea Thai Party. It is unclear whether Jatuporn was calling for an armed struggle or not.

His speech came after just hours after gunmen shot at an anti-government protest stage and threw explosive devices in the Khao Saming district of the eastern province of Trat, which killed at least one person and wounded dozens.

#bangkok, #prime-minster-yingluck-shinawatra, #united-front-democracy, #yingluck-shinawatra

#Bangkok : ” Thai Policeman Shot Dead as Clashes with Protesters continue during `Raid’ to reclaim `Besieged’ Government Building”

#AceWorldNews says that a Thai policeman was shot dead as security forces clashed with protesters during a raid to reclaim besieged government buildings in Bangkok Tuesday.

“One policeman was shot dead and four injured,” Police Lieutenant General Prawut Thavornsiri told AFP. One of the casualties was seriously injured by shrapnel from a blast.

A total of 44 people were hurt, according to the city’s Erawan emergency medical centre.

Demonstrators rejected a police demand to leave the area around the prime minister’s offices within one hour.

#bangkok, #demonstrators, #government, #policeman, #protesters, #thailand

#Bangkok : ” Thousands Surround `Government House’ as `Protesters seek to Oust’ the Prime Minister”

#AceWorldNews says according to latest reports thousands of protesters seeking to oust Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra surrounded the government’s headquarters in Bangkok on Monday, Reuters reported.

The move is seen as a defiant riposte to police efforts to begin retaking sites the protesters have been occupying for weeks.

More than 10,000 demonstrators surrounded the heavily-barricaded Government House, the prime minister’s main offices. The demonstrators also threatened to seal entrances to the complex to prevent Yingluck and other ministers from working there.

#bangkok, #demonstrators, #prime-minister, #protesters, #reuters, #yingluck-shinawatra

`Thai Riot Police Deployed in Capital to Clear Anti-Government Protest Sites’

#AceWorldNews says that thousands of riot police were deployed in the Thai capital on Friday to clear areas occupied for weeks by opposition protesters, AFP reported. Security forces easily re-took areas around Government House, which Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra had been unable to use for about two months. Most protesters appeared to have left the area already.

The operation marked a shift in tactics by the embattled government, which has allowed the protesters to camp out at locations around Bangkok for several months.

#afp, #bangkok, #opposition, #protesters, #thailand, #yingluck-shinawatra

” Financial World Shaken by `Death’s of Four Banker’s Apparent Suicides’ in one Week”

#AceNewsServices says `Financial World Shaken’ by `Four Bankers‘ Apparent Suicides in one Week.

The apparent suicide death of the chief economist of a US investment house brings the number of financial workers who have died allegedly by their own hand to four in the last week.

2russell-investments-chief-economist-dead.si50-year-old Mike Dueker, who had worked for Russell Investment for five years, was found dead close to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State, says AP.

Local police say he could have jumped over a fence and fallen 15 meters to his death, and are treating the case as a suicide.

Dueker was reported missing by friends on January 29, and police had searched for him.

A Sheriff’s spokesman said investigators learned that he was having problems at work but did not elaborate.

Jennifer Tice, a company spokeswoman declined to comment, however said, that Dueker was in good standing at Russell.

We were deeply saddened to learn today of the death,” Tice said in an e-mail on Friday. “He made a valuable contributions that helped our clients and many of his fellow associates.

Dueker joined Russell Investment in 2008. He wrote for Market Outlook financial services publications, forecasting the business cycle and the target federal funds rate. He is the creator and developer of a business cycle index that forecast economic performance published monthly on the Russell website.

He was previously an assistant vice president and research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and is ranked in the top 5 percent of published economists.

Over the past two decades he wrote tens of research papers mostly on monetary policy, according to the bank’s website.

His most-cited paper was “Strengthening the case for the yield curve as a predictor of U.S. recessions, published in 1997 while he was a researcher at the Federal Reserve.

He was a valued colleague of mine during my entire tenure at the St. Louis Fed,” said William Poole, the bank’s ex-president. Everyone respected his professional skills and good sense.

Dueker held an undergraduate degree in math from the University of Oregon, a master’s degree in economics from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

Streak of bankers’ deaths

Dueker’s apparent suicide was the fourth among financial experts in a week.

A 58-year-old former senior executive at Deutsche Bank AG, William Broeksmit, was found dead on January 26 in his home after an apparent suicide in South Kensington in central London.

The next day, January 27, Tata Motors managing director Karl Slym, 51, was found dead on the fourth floor of the Shangri-La hotel in Bangkok. Police said he could have committed suicide. Mr. Slym was staying on a 22th floor with his wife, and was attending a board meeting in the Thai capital.

Another tragic incident occurred on January 28, when a 39-year-old Gabriel Magee, a JP Morgan employee, died after falling from the roof of its European headquarters in London.

The offices of JP Morgan in the Canary Wharf district of London (Reuters/Simon Newman)The offices of JP Morgan in the Canary Wharf district of London (Reuters/Simon Newman)

While creating fortunes, City and Wall Street jobs are notorious for extra-long working weeks and huge amounts of stress. In a move to ease the tension some of the world’s biggest lenders like Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Credit Suisse have told junior staff to take more time off.

Some European countries like Belgium and the Netherlands have reduced the working week from 40 to 30 hours without damaging their economies, while in Germany an average worker puts in 35 hours a week and is the world’s fourth largest economy.

 

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#acenewsservices, #bangkok, #dueker, #federal-reserve-bank-of-st-louis, #general-motors, #goldman-sachs, #london, #russell, #russell-investment, #tacoma-narrows-bridge, #tata-motors, #wall-street

#Thailand ” Elections are `Taking Place’ to End `Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’ Rule”

#AceNewsServices says `Fractured Elections’ Have been taking place in Thailand

The polls, which opened on Sunday morning, were mainly tense, but calm, with many voters arriving early.

thai-electionsOn Saturday, prior to the opening of the ballot boxes, six people were injured in gun battles in Bangkok between government opponents and supporters.

People in the suburb of Laksi, a stronghold of the prime minister’s Pheu Thai party, raced for cover as protesters with handguns and rifles traded fire.

The demonstrators, who want the end of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra‘s rule, had tried to enter a building where ballot papers were stored.

There were sporadic bursts from handguns and automatic weapons in Bangkok on Saturday night, although there were no further reports of deaths or injuries.

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#acenewsservices, #bangkok, #lak-si-district, #list-of-prime-ministers-of-thailand, #pheu-thai, #saturday, #sunday, #thailand, #thaksin-shinawatra, #yingluck-shinawatra

“Explosion Rock’s Bangkok as Opposition Protests and Army Calls for Talks”

#AceNewsServices says “Bangkok Rocked by Explosion’s”

RT News – Published time: January 19, 2014 15:56
Thai anti-government protesters parade during a rally in Bangkok on January 19, 2014 (AFP Photo)Thai anti-government protesters parade during a rally in Bangkok on January 19, 2014 (AFP Photo)
Two blasts at an anti-government rally in Bangkok have left at least 28 protesters injured, some seriously. As the protests go on despite previous assaults, Thailand‘s army chief is urging the government and opposition to negotiate.

The first explosion near Victory Monument, in the north of the city, where protesters continue to rally ceaselessly, went off some 200 meters from a stage set up by opposition activists. Police believe the explosion was caused by frag grenades.

The 28 injured protesters were brought to four different hospitals in the city, according to the Bangkok Emergency Medical Center. Seven are in critical condition.

Another blast happened minutes later near vendors selling anti-government T-shirts, reportedly injuring two of them.

“The first blast I heard was from behind the stage,” Reuters reported Teerawut Utakaprechanun as saying.

“People were looking around. I saw the security guards running after a suspect. After one minute I heard another bomb blast.”

Protesters who run several round-the-clock demonstrations in Bangkok since November 2013 are being increasingly targeted by unknown malefactors.

On Friday a frag grenade thrown into group of marching opposition activists killed one and wounded at least 35 demonstrators.

On Saturday night, shooting took place some 300 meters from a stage used by protesters. A 54-year-old volunteer guard was seriously wounded in the back and remains in intensive care after undergoing surgery.

Also, police reported that small quantities of explosives were thrown at protest leaders’ homes.

Since November, the death toll of both protesters and police has reached nine.

Thai anti-government protesters wave national flags during a rally in Bangkok on January 19, 2014 (AFP Photo)Thai anti-government protesters wave national flags during a rally in Bangkok on January 19, 2014 (AFP Photo)

Tensions are rising in the 12-million Thai capital ahead of the elections called to quell the latest political crisis, which started in November. The anti-government protesters are demanding that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her government quit.

Yet unlike similar protests in 2010, the pro-government ‘red-shirt’ demonstrators so far have not appeared on the streets of Bangkok, which definitely helps to prevent otherwise inevitable factional clashes. But this could change.

After PM Shinawatra assigned early elections on February 2, demonstrators’ major aim is to disrupt the elections, since the results of a national poll might not be in favor of the opposition. The main opposition Democrat Party has already announced it is going to boycott the elections.

As the date of the elections gets closer, the violence is intensifying, which raises suspicions that the Thai army might step in to put the unrest to an end. The Thai Army has staged 16 successful coups (and two failed ones) since the Thai monarchy ceased to be an absolute monarchy in 1932.

The latest coup in 2006 deposed the then-PM Thaksin Shinawatra, elder brother of the current Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. After the coup, Thaksin had to leave the country for “voluntary” exile and is still unable to return, even with his sister being a PM.

Yet as of today the army seems to be reluctant to interfere.

“The relationship between the government and the army is normal,” Thai top commander Thanasak Patimapakorn declared on Saturday after the country’s Army Day parade. He stressed that all sides must respect the law.

“I request that all sides should come together and talk to find a solution,” Thanasak said.

In an interview with the daily paper Bangkok Post, Thanasak said he had no interest in becoming prime minister or acting as mediator.

Since 2001 poor rural population of Thailand has supported Shinawatra clan, ensuring victory in every election. In contrast with rural Thailand, the urban population backed by country’s royalist elites and army, usually votes against “tribunes of the people,” which the opposition accuses of corruption and being a threat to democracy and power structures.

 

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#anti-statism, #bangkok, #friday, #protest, #royal-thai-army, #saturday, #thailand, #thaksin-shinawatra, #victory-monument, #yingluck-shinawatra

Thailand: Breaking Down Reuters’ “Class” Lies by the Numbers

#AceWorldNews says this is a guest post from a writer about Thailand‘s embattled regime and is shared as a baseless narrative disingenuously portraying Thailand as divided along class, rather than united against regime.

December 14, 2013 (Tony Cartalucci) – Thailand’s embattled regime has long fashioned itself as the champion of the nation’s north and northeast rural poor – and its opponents, essentially the rest of the nation – as aloft elitists which also inexplicably includes hardworking middle class, and much of the nation’s central and south, including laborers and farmers. It is a myth that the regime’s extensive Western backers are also helping perpetuate, but is one that is easily dispelled with irrefutable hard statistics and common sense.

Image: Even a cursory examination of the anti-regime protesters reveals immense diversity in both its constitution and it grievances against the regime – from labor unions, Buddhist sects, business owners both big and small, to ordinary workers from both labor and middle classes. Reuters‘ hit piece is designed to disingenuously malign the protesters, portraying them all as spoiled rich snobs. Of course, with hundreds of thousands of protesters turning up at mass rallies, even at face value one should spot the deception.

….

The latest attempt by the West to use its large media machine to perpetuate the “class divide” myth in Thailand comes to us by Reuters in their story, “High society hits the streets as prominent Thais join protests,” which begins:

Chitpas Bhirombhakdi is heiress to a $2.6 billion family fortune and, according to high-society magazine Thailand Tatler, one of Bangkok’s “most eligible young ladies”. She can also handle tear gas and ride a tractor.

On December 2, as anti-government demonstrations in Bangkok turned violent, the 27-year-old climbed aboard a front-loader brought in by protesters to break down police barricades.

Chitpas, whose family owns the Boon Rawd Brewery that makes Singha Beer, had dismounted the machine long before police pelted it with rubber bullets and gas canisters. But her gung-ho act showed how members of Thailand’s most celebrated families are discarding all past pretence of neutrality to hit the streets in the hope of toppling Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Along with their wealth and privilege, these elite protesters share a declarative love of Thailand’s aging King Bhumibol Adulyadej and an abhorrence for Yingluck and her brother Thaksin, a billionaire ex-prime minister ousted by a 2006 military coup, whom they accuse of corruption and abuse of power.

For many in Bangkok’s high society, anti-government rallies have supplemented – if not quite replaced – customary haunts in posh hotels and restaurants, although only a dwindling hardcore of less privileged protesters sleeps rough on the street.

The biased tone of the story almost reaches out and touches readers, begging to be believed. Throughout the article Reuters’ Andrew RC Marshall cites a total of 6 anecdotal tales of wealthy protest participants in an attempt paint the entire movement as elitist, but cites absolutely no statistics or evidence to give readers an honest idea of the actual makeup of the opposition.

After imbuing readers with the perception that protesters are merely elitist snobs, it goes on further to portray them as condescending as well. Quoting entrepreneur Petch Osathanugrah, Reuters states:

His opinion of the mainly rural Thais who voted for Yingluck is unsparing but typical. They are ill-educated, easily swayed and greedy, he said, and their willingness to sell their vote to Thaksin-backed politicians renders elections pointless.

However, Reuters’ cherry-picked representation is not only dishonest as a demographic representation of the protesters, but also dishonest in portraying the actual grievances of the protesters. The attempt to portray them as fascistic for rejecting elections is also a gross, intentional misrepresentation as we will soon see.

Demographically speaking, even by the most conservative estimates, December 9, 2013’s anti-regime rally drew at least 150,000 protesters (though actual numbers reached near a million). These six anecdotal cases then constitute a meager .004% of even 150,000, and it is doubtful indeed that there are many more “billionaire heiresses” among the hundreds of thousands that continuously turn up for mass mobilizations.

Considering that Reuters spent no time qualifying the narrative they’ve attempted to foist upon unsuspecting readers one might wonder what the truth of the matter actually is. What do honest, objective numbers and analysis actually say?

To understand just how far off Reuters and the regime are about their “class divide” myth, one needs to go by actual numbers, tellingly missing from both Reuters’ propaganda, and the regime’s.

Breaking Down the “Class Divide” Myth – By the Numbers 

.004%: The number of anecdotal tales told by Reuters to portray the protesters as snobby elitist, compared to the most conservative estimates of December 9, 2013’s mass rally (via BBC).

35%: The number of eligible voters, according to the Thai Election Commission’s final tally for the 2011 elections, that actually voted for the Shinawatra regime. Were we to believe Reuters, that would mean the other 65% of all eligible voters were billionaire urban aristocrats – an absurdity even at face value.

48%: The percentage out of those that did bother to vote who voted for the regime – meaning Thaksin Shinawatra‘s proxy party did not even garner a basic popular majority in the last election.


7%: The number of Thais who identify themselves as “red,” or supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra and his political machine. Another 7% identify themselves as only leaning toward “red,” for a grand total of 14% – this according to the Asia Foundation’s 2010 National Public Perception Survey of the Thai Electorate – full .pdf here).

26: The number of provinces in which rice farmers have threatened to block roads, joining anti-regime protesters. These are the very Thais that actually did vote for the regime – but have since been cheated in a vote-buying rice scheme that has now run out of money. They had their promised prices first slashed last summer, and have now not been paid at all since October.

3,000: The approximate number of innocent people mass murdered by the Thaksin Shinawatra regime in 2003 over the course of 90 days in what he called his “war on drugs.” It would later be revealed that nearly half of those killed had nothing at all to even do with the drug trade. Human Rights Watch (HRW) would confirm this in their 2008 report titled, “Thailand’s ‘war on drugs’,” a follow up to the much more extensive 2004 report, “Not Enough Graves.”

The brutal campaign was wildly popular amongst Thaksin’s supporters. The fact that those who do support Thaksin Shinawatra seem not to care or understand basic concepts like “human rights,” “trials,” and the “presumption of innocence until proven guilty,” is in fact what leads some to call the regime’s remaining supporters “ill-educated, easily swayed and greedy” – as Reuters published – and why some may believe that “their willingness to sell their vote to Thaksin-backed politicians renders elections pointless.”

In Conclusion…

The childishly simple “class divide” Reuters and others have disingenuously attempted to lay over Thailand’s political landscape in reality does not fit. There is no division, only an attempt by the regime and its Western sponsors to create one. This is to justify the insidious tactics of violence, intimidation, and corruption that has propped the Shinawatra’s up for now nearly a decade, and to portray the anti-regime protesters in a manner that will earn the contempt of Reuters’ unsuspecting international readers.

Reuters did not omit statistics or actual evidence by accident or because it is incompetent, but because it is intentionally deceitful. A professional journalist, or even a careful reader, can easily recognize the weasel words, lack of actual statistics and facts, and the logical fallacies employed by Reuters in its attempt to buttress the crumbling regime and portray the protesters as spoiled, fascistic brats – a narrative peddled by the regime itself and its gaggle of propagandists.

Indeed – the 2003 “war on drugs” which left 3,000 in their graves and the wild popularity this crime against humanity to this day still has among Thaksin Shinawatra’s supporters has terrifying implications for Thailand’s future if this despotism is left unchecked and allowed to fester. A “democratically elected” government put into office by an electorate that cannot grasp the basics principles of a democratic society is not democratic at all. It is brutal, exploitative despotism shabbily dressed in the trappings of democracy, defended by shameless foreign propagandists working for equally insidious corporate-financier interests and is an immediate danger to Thailand, its people, and its future.

 

#aceworldnews, #bangkok, #bhumibol-adulyadej, #boon-rawd-brewery, #middle-class, #reuters, #thailand, #thaksin-shinawatra, #yingluck-shinawatra