Thailand has had a long history of political instability, much of which is hidden from the western world by a veil of censorship. It was only two years ago that a military coup, thankfully bloodless, took place to dispose criticised Prime Minister and business man Taksin Shiniwatra, following allegations of mass corruption. Two years on, following the first democratic election since the 2006 coup, and amidst allegations of vote buying and further corruption, Thailand once again witnesses a violent response to its current political situation.
Demonstrators for the People’s Alliance for Democracy have been blockading airports and government buildings since early this week, several trade unions have gone on strike to support them, seeing the entire rail network grind to a halt. PAD is calling for Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, who many see as a puppet for the aforementioned Taksin, to step down from office.
The army so far has refused to step in and quell the troubles, after avowing they would never become involved in politics again, however it can only be a matter of time before they are forced to act regardless of their wishes, as the streets begin to erupt into violence and the economy suffers.
For expats living in Thailand this is a troubling time, it seems the country is becoming increasingly unstable, and potentially dangerous. This is a major problem due to the high number of expats who have a family in Thailand - no simple relocation for them...