I tried all last night to access News in Bangkok but I kept getting the yellow server reset message. Anyway, the wife and I are heading to the rally today. We are thinking of officially joining the UDD. The organizers are very open to foreigners joining them in their struggle.
I spent last Saturday at the rally and had a really interesting discussion with a Red Shirt supporter. His name was “Tun”. He explained to me that the government propaganda was having no effect outside of Bangkok and that the UDD is signing people up left, right, and center. I did see a constant line of people paying for their ID cards. Tun also told me that the Army and the “Ronin” warriors have had pitched battles outside of Bangkok that have not been reported in the press. Apparently, the military is divided, confused, and terrified of these “Ronin” warriors appearing out of nowhere, inflicting heavy casualties and then slipping back into the general population. It is quite obvious that they are well trained and motivated. What motivates them is the question? Are they a combination of Thai and foreign mercenaries paid to protect the Red Shirts or idealistic Thai warriors motivated to do what they believe is right?
My previous comment about the military being confused and scared is backed up by a sad even in Khorat. From the Prachathai website:
On 1 May, Private Thiwanont Thienthes, 23, was reported dead at his house in Phimai District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province. Dressed in full military uniform, he was found to have hung himself from a tamarind tree in the backyard.
His mother, Wassana, 52, said that he was a recruit attached to the 1st Special Warfare Training Company, Thanarat Camp, in Kaeng Krachan district, Phetchaburi province, and was due to be demobilized on 1 Nov 2010.
Given a week’s leave on 24 April, he returned home, looking normal, and regularly followed news of the red shirts, she said.
However, when he was due to go back to camp, he complained to his mother about his fear of being sent to disperse the demonstration in Bangkok. In the late afternoon of 30 April, he put on his uniform and asked for 400 baht for the bus fare back to camp.
While his mother thought that her son was on his way back to camp, her neighbors found the body hanging from the tree.
The situation does not bode well for the boys in green.