Well, this has been a really strange week for me. I haven’t posted the last Songkran series update yet but when I got back to Bangkok, KFC was not restored. In fact, the situation had deteriorated quit markedly. After the violence last weekend the red shirts decided to consolidate all of their protesters at one location. That location just happens to be where I live. So now I have tens of thousands of people living around my apartment.
They seem to entrenched themselves. I now have portable toilets, showering stations, and a impromptu eBay going on right in front of my building. Taxis don’t want to go within even a few blocks of my place.
In the meantime the cops were sent in to arrest a red shirt leader in a hotel and somehow he got tipped off and lowered himself by a cord from the third floor to a car waiting to whisk him to safety back in heart of the red zone. The PM promptly demoted the Deputy PM who was supposed to be in charge of the state of emergency coordination and was in charge of the supposed commando raid to capture the red shirt leader.
The PM put the head of the army in charge of the state of emergency. That puts the general in a very tough situation. In fact, it’s a lose-lose for him. He’s retiring in six months and doesn’t want blood on his hands. On the other hand, if he doesn’t resolve the situation he’ll get canned and a true hawk will replace him which will guarantee blood being spilled.
Tensions are high.
The last trip I made into the red zone one of the red shirt guards told us that on Monday the army was going to try to crack down on them and that things might get out of control. After talking it over with the girlfriend I decided to get away from all of the craziness for a few days. I checked into a hotel on the other side of town.
At the moment, things haven’t hit the fan yet but it looks like it’s getting close. The army has set up “observation” positions on top of tall building surrounding the protest area. The reds threatened to take over Silom and the army and police have deployed thousands of troops/cops to contain them.
Meanwhile, the old yellow shirts (the PAD) who took over the airports about a year ago are saying that if the government doesn’t disperse the reds in the next seven days they’ll stage their own rallies. There have also been multiple “multi-color-shirt” rallies. These are people who claim to have no allegiance to any colored shirt group. They claim that their agenda is non-violence and that all of this stupidity should stop.
As someone recently put it, in a country of 70 million people 20,000 or 30,000 people are holding the entire country hostage.
Enough politics . . . now some poker.
Photo Journal of Bangkok Clashes with Police / Military
April Time Machine
Not All Online Poker Traffic is Created Equal
Cleaning Out the Poker Promotions Closet
State of Emergency in Bangkok
Question From a Reader of Bill’s Poker Blog
Songkran Part I: No KFC, No Peace!!
Songkran Part II: Washing Grandma
UB/Absolute Affiliate Changes – Multiple Accounts
An Example of Bad Marketing – UB/Win a Date with Tiffany Michelle
Songkran Part III: I Can Relate to a Nine Year Old
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