ISA vs. Red-Shirts: Wherever You Go, Whenever You Do, I Will Be Right There Waiting for You

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Last week, nothing dominated the freshmarket gossips more than the Red-Shirt rally and the implementation of the Internal Security Act (ISA). PM Abhisit’s decision to utilize the ISA to prevent the reoccurence of the mayhem that went down in April, both in Pattaya and Bangkok, is met with a cornipocia of opposition.

To many, the ISA paints a horrifying picture seen too often in Thailand; one of barbed wires and armed soldiers, triggering a familiar feeling of instability and insecurity in this country. To foreigners, such a picture undoubtably brings the lingering thoughts of another coup d’etat in a country that has had 18 of them, since its installation of a constitutional democratic monarchy in 1932, something the international community generally does not condone.

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The author, so called “Mang Mao”, said he, for one, agrees with using the ISA to handle the planned protests, and even reimplementing the ISA on the delayed protest dates.

Some are saying the ISA disrupts the daily lives of those Thais who want nothing to do with the whole ordeal. Sure, it bothers us Thais to see barricades, armed soldiers stand around, and traffic police waving us to take a detour, but it also bothers us when large crowds gather to block roads, burn tires, throw projectiles, raid buildings, and cost us our taxes.

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Oh, I’m sorry. The Democratic Alliance against Dictatorship (DAAD) leaders have promised the National Police Chief Police General Patcharawat Wongsuwan (or is he still?) that the upcoming protests will be peaceful.

Hmm…does that sound familiar? This sounds like something the DAAD leaders said before the last protests in April. There must be a fine print to that promise. “Unless somebody starts first, then we’ll go all out like we planned it all along, OR, if we do one of those ‘star explosion’ operations (mobile protests), spreading protestors until we fail to communicate with each other and control the extent of our activities.”

The truth of the matter is, no one trusts the protest leaders’ promise of a peaceful gathering. And if we can do anything to prevent the violence from reoccuring, even if it’s the ISA, why not?

On a side note to the whole debate about the appropriateness of the ISA, what is the cause of the DAAD protest this time? Didn’t they just file the petition for a royal pardon?

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They want to demonstrate that there is an overwhelming support for this coalition government to dissolve the House and to have an election. We got it. Clear as crystal. The optimism of supporters for the Thai Rak Thai, I mean, People Power, I mean, Puea Thai Party is still very much alive; so much as to possibly believe that they will win a landslide victory in the next election.

So the sooner we oust this government and install our boss’ party, the better, even if it means we cripple the country doing it. Is it that bad to wait for this administration to finish its term? Or is that giving them too much time to build credit and popularity and maybe to re-write the rule book in their favor.

For the past 5 years or so, politicians seem to be competing for ownership of the country; as if being the ruling government means being the owner of Thailand. “Goosebumps!”

Mang Mao wrote that the declaration of the ISA has its pros and cons, but he stands on the side of the government in trying to maintain stability and to prevent the repeat of April’s violence. And, considering the Red-Shirt’s unpredictable movements, limited use of the Internal Security Act sure seems like it’s the way to go.

 

Original article written by “Mang Mao” in the “Daily News” paper

Tuesday September 1, 2009 edition pg.8

Rewritten by Patcharapol Jitramontree

TAN

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