May 15, 2010

Thai snipers shooting protestors in Bangkok

POLITICS - In what can only be described as a war crime the Thai military has begun shooting protestors using snipers on rooftops in an effort to quell dissent in the capitol of Bangkok.

The country of 64 million people is one of the poorest and most desperate countries in Asia, led by a military regime already known for its brutality. Around government buildings in Bangkok the military has pinned up notices which say “Live Firing Zone.”, basically allowing the snipers to shoot anyone spotted protesting or speaking to the media.

In one incident a protestor was shot in mid conversation while speaking to a reporter.

A Canadian journalist was also shot and injured, one of three journalists wounded in the fighting so far.

The soldiers claim they only fire in self defense, but this does not explain the wounded journalists and civilians who are shot by snipers without warning.

So far at least 42 people have been shot and killed and another 1400+ people have been injured since the stand off began 2 months ago. Protestors have erected barricades across streets and are demanding the resignation of the government. In the last 2 days alone 24 people have been killed and another 200+ injured.

So far the army has used snipers, tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition against the protesters, who throw Molotov cocktails and rocks in response. Some have armed themselves with slingshots and also set cars on fire and roll burning tires at the soldiers.

Central to the fighting in the corrupt ruling class elite who control Thailand's government and military. Protestors, often known as Red Shirts, want the return of exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a military coup in 2006 but is rumoured to be corrupt.

What Thailand needs is a new election and new leaders to choose from, but since this is also a struggle being the rich elite and the poor (in a country that is very poor) it is difficult to find leaders who are wealthy enough to run in an election who aren't corrupt.

In 2006 the military junta overthrew the government, dissolved Parliament, got rid of the constitution and declared martial law.

Thailand's tourism industry promotes itself as the “Land of Smiles.”

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