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Thailand: The Yellow Shirt protesters are back

Thailand’s Yellow Shirt protesters are back in the streets. The group which launched massive protest actions and invaded the country’s international airport in 2008 is mobilizing again to condemn the ‘treason’ of government officials who are accused of being unable to protect the country’s borders.

The protesters insist that Thailand is not being assertive enough in the Preah Vihear border dispute against Cambodia. Preah Vihear is a historic temple in a location which is both being claimed by Thailand and Cambodia.

The Yellow Shirts are members of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD). They are also seen as supporters of the current government which rose to power in 2008. But today the Yellow Shirts are openly expressing their criticism against the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

The Yellow Shirts have been protesting for several days already. Palm Writings, on Facebook, describes the situation in Bangkok

Six days and the yellow-shirts are still camping out near the Gov house, stopping traffic and demanding the policies towards Cambodia tightened. Meanwhile, Abhisit demands a Cambodian flag on a pagoda near the border removed, Hun Sen (Cambodia’s leader) denies and rumors of both a coup and Camodian troop boost along the border are circulating amongst the protesters. The yellow-shirts have turned down all official attempts to negotiate.

The Yellow Shirts have filed a criminal suit against key government officials

thaimythbuster: Yellow-shirt (PAD) activists Mon. filed suit at Criminal Court against PM Abhisit and 3 other ministers,accusing them of not doing enough to protect Thai territory

The main rivals of the Yellow Shirts are the Red Shirts who have emerged as the main opposition protesters since 2009. The Red Shirts have recently gathered tens of thousands of their members to demand the resignation of the ‘undemocratic’ Abhisit government. Stingray reacts to the successive rallies by the Red and Yellow Shirters

…both Red and Yellow Shirts are on a ballistic trajectory.

The Red Shirts is growing stronger and stronger and the Yellow Shirts are as radical as anything.

Will the Red and Yellow Shirts merge forces? Unlikely, according to political observers

StrontiumDog1: Red-shirts will not coordinate a joint demonstration with the PAD/TPN, saying that they have different objectives, stance, and viewpoints.

The PAD, it seems, has failed to attract a bigger number of rallyists

forestmat: @terryfrd don't think anyone cares about #PAD anymore. Seems they can no longer garner support – waiting to see them announce plan
Aim_NT: RT @jin_nation: RT @tulsathit: TR @jin_nation: PAD ready to “upgrade” protest. Suthep, citing thin crowds, says: “Give us back the streets.” PAD: “No way”.
forestmat: The yellow shirt protests seem to be very sparsely attended – they must be thinking of bringing it to an end with such poor support? #PAD
BBfeeling: PAD's protest is not worth a cent, they protest for their benefit!!!

Even if it is unlikely, the tense situation could worsen if the Red and Yellow Shirts will join forces

artnithi: RT @paisalvision: RT @sathornstreet: @paisalvision Couldnt help but to think that TH govt sees PAD as enemy and Cambodia as boss! >+1
bkkbase: I hope PAD will feel emboldened and start to storm Thai Gov buildings
two10eleven: @RichardBarrow Ha! If the Reds, PAD, and Muslims joining forces, I'm not sure the PM or the Army stands a chance
JayVeerayano: RT @suthichai: @tulsathit on:”What if yellow shirts and red shirts join hands to topple Abhisit?”/it'll be scary..they are both radical

Some reactions from Bangkok twitter users:

MCOT_Eng: DPM Suthep instructs Bangkok Metro Police chief to continue negotiating with PAD blocking Makkawan Bridge to open lane of traffic for public
BBfeeling: I respect to freedom of speech…I believe in the democratic system….but I don't believe in Red shirst and PAD Mob in Thailand!!! Never!!
Gokgag: @aandpink I don't have any plan leauy..lazy to do anything..went to PAD last nite..not many people..Jaw went on the first day :
pongpavan: RT @KlaAthak: Then what? PAD have no mandate they didn't even win a seat at the bkk elections… They'll b out again after …
NickDay13: In future PAD to coordinate with other international protesters to arrange protests at separate times in order to ensure media interest.

Tai Hui thinks that political rallies won’t affect business investments

Indeed, radical changes in the political landscape are a regular feature for Thailand and the economy has weathered such political storms pretty well in recent years. In its 78 years of democracy, Thailand has experienced 24 military coups, 18 constitutions and 27 prime ministers. To local and foreign businesses, policy uncertainty is a greater worry than political instability

Pictures of the Yellow Shirt rallies can be accessed on Facebook and on the blog of Richard Barrow.

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